After placing 17th overall at the Wolfpack Intercollegiate, the Drexel men’s golf team is heading back to North Carolina Oct. 20 for the 34th annual ODU/OBX Invitational at Kilmarlic Golf Club. Sophomore Christopher Crawford led the way for the Dragons at the Wolfpack Intercollegiate with a 223 for the tournament, which was seven over par.
The Dragons seemed to have trouble with the Bermuda grass, which is what most southern golf courses have today. The greens are faster, the ball rolls farther, and players struggle to control their speed on the greens and club length from the fairways. Lonnie Poole Golf Course was a challenge for a number of teams in the field at the Wolfpack Intercollegiate, and the Dragons had a hard time pulling together a round under par.
Head coach Mike Dynda said of the team’s preparation for the weekend, “We need a little bit of short game and putting practice. … We [also] need to make better decisions.”
Going into the ODU/OBX Invitational, the team looks to improve upon its performance in last week’s competition. The Dragons have shot fairly well at Kilmarlic Golf Club in the past.
“Kilmarlic is a really fun North Carolina golf course,” Crawford said. “Some of the holes are fairly tight and tricky, so it’ll stress accuracy off the tee and a solid iron game through the bag.”
For Dynda and the Dragons, Kilmarlic Golf Club is always a fitting end to the fall season. The beautiful 605-acre golf course is made up of maritime forest and sprawling wetlands with many challenges given its difficult layout. Keys for Drexel will include keeping the ball in the generous fairways and making good shots onto the gently sloping greens.
The rest of the Blue and Gold can expect Crawford to carry the momentum for the team. Throughout the season, the sophomore has frequently turned in the lowest scorecard for the team. To win this highly competitive tournament of 19 universities from 11 states, every Dragon on the team will have to do his part.
The Dragons have counted on young talent throughout the course of the season. Freshman Yoseph Dance has played very well as of late and has been able to keep pace with the sophomore standout. Dance finished just a stroke behind Crawford in the Wolfpack Intercollegiate, scoring a 224 for the event.
Another notable golfer is sophomore Alex Kane. He has been a bit inconsistent this fall, but when he has shot well, he has been a threat to the rest of the field. If these three can pull together and turn in a low-scoring finish, the Dragons have a good shot to take the title and bring it home to Philadelphia.
“I like the way this course sets up for the team a lot,” Crawford said.
As Drexel wraps up its fall season, this young team is determined to finish on a good note. Throughout the season, the Dragons have come very close to a team title, with second- and fifth-place finishes thus far. Look for the team to close the gap and make a run for the ODU/OBX Invitational title in the final competition until spring.