The calendar has turned to April, and that means the second half of the NYU golf season is in full swing. With about a month left to go, both the men’s and women’s teams were hoping to better their scores this week. While the women enjoyed the relative heat in Houston by finishing second at the NCAA Division III Spring Preview, the men wrapped things up in chilly Pennsylvania, settling for 12th at the Hershey Open.
After a difficult start, the men’s team rebounded on Sunday, with scores down nearly across the board. Though it didn’t affect their overall placing, the Violets took advantage of slightly better conditions in Monday’s second round. Junior Eric Tarakjian followed up his first round 81 with a 78 to post a team-low score 159 — 17 above par and good enough for 18th place. Meanwhile, fellow third-year player Matthew Love showed the most improvement between two days of any Violet, shaving 13 strokes off of his score to finish in 42nd with a 23-over 165.
Even with a more difficult day, freshman Derrek Drozdyk nearly took second on the Violets with a Monday 85, but finished a stroke behind Love. Freshman Lucas Oberholtzer wasn’t far behind Drozdyk, as a second round 80 put him three shots behind for 60th place. Freshman Qizi Wong and senior Julius Oppenheimer filled out the lineup with respective scores of 171 and a 177.
The five Violets who traveled to Houston this week continued what has been a very successful season up to this point. Freshman and team number two Catherina Li finished with the low score for the Violets, following up a Monday 79 with a solid 77 the next day. Sophomore Alyssa Poentis was nearly as stellar, shooting a 78 and 79 to finish one shot behind Li. The lack of distance amongst the pack continued with freshman and team number one Jenni Bluetling, who finished five strokes behind Poentis with a 162. Even with an abbreviated practice round, Li and her teammates were happy to play a few rounds at the course they’ll return to in May.
“I think we really got to know the course pretty well which was the goal of this trip, and we were able to get some good practice on some really tricky greens, and also got to experience some amazing weather and wonderful southern hospitality,” Li said.
Finally, sophomores Kristin Lee and Phoebe Zhao rounded out the field of Violets with scores of 164 and 173. Playing as an individual, Mikaela Santos also finished with a 173. The event marked the ladies’ fifth second place finish of the year. Lee seconded her teammate and was happy the Violets were able to play on the course once before May.
“The greens were really tricky and way different from what we are all used to so this tournament was perfect for us to get ready for nationals,” Lee said.
The men return to the course this weekend, as they compete at the NYU Spring Invitational in Bloomfield, New Jersey. The women play the week after at the Jack Leaman Invitational in Massachusetts.
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