After a summer filled with championships for junior Joe Leavitt and many of his teammates, the Rams’ golf team will begin the season at the Adams Cup, next week.
Leavitt earned himself five titles including a full sweep of the four championships that take place in New Hampshire every summer. He started by winning the Tournament of Club Championships where he finished with 74, then came out on top at the Players Invitational with a combined 140 strokes over two rounds. Leavitt continued his hot streak at the New Hampshire Amateur Championship with 146 combined over two rounds and capped off his run at the New Hampshire Stroke Play Championship where he tallied 280 over two rounds. He also earned a spot on the 10-player All-New England Team.
“The guy that had the monster season was Joe Leavitt,” Rhode Island head coach Gregg Burke said. “Joe probably had as good a summer as any URI athlete ever has and he’ll be our leader. The summer was simply the fruits of a year’s worth of discipline.”
Leavitt played his first season for the Rams last year in his sophomore year and averaged the lowest strokes per tournament at 74.1. His best performance of the year came at the NEIGA Championship where he was tied for first place before losing in a playoff.
“I expect Joe to be in contention for every tournament we play in,” Burke said. “We’ll be playing against players that will be in the PGA Tour and I expect Joe to go out there, not be intimidated, and show that he’s worthy to play against anyone in the field.”
Aside from Leavitt, 2011 graduate John Kelly won the Massachusetts Amateur Championship and sophomore Billy Walthouse also earned a spot to the six-player All-Rookie team.
With practices in full swing and the first competition of the season right around the corner, Burke said that he is excited to see his team play against some of the top squads in the country. Now that the Rams have an established group, he said this season should be a good one.
“We are as good as anyone in New England at one [and] two and then three through five we are really solid,” Burke said. “Instead of being happy that we are invited to the party, we’re now at the point where the party doesn’t begin unless the Rams get there.”
Spending much of last season developing both in the weight room and on the course, the Rams now have a team where all players have at least one year of play under their belts. This year’s roster will feature three sophomores, three juniors and one senior. Burke said that having a team that already knows what is expected of them will be key to the Rams’ success this year.
“We’re going to go to tournaments with the expectation that we’ll be in contention every round, Burke said” “There are teams that on paper, are clearly ahead of us, but we have some guys who are ready to make themselves known.”
The Rams will face their first competition of the year this Monday and Tuesday at the Adams Cup of Newport at the Newport National Country Club.