The University of Rhode Island golf team finished the Temple Invitational tied for fifth place at the Philmont Country Club in Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania, this weekend.
The hosting Temple Owls won the event with a 572 as well as individual honors, thanks to junior Brandon Matthews’ 138 total strokes from both rounds. Hartford, Drexel and Pennsylvania also finished above Rhode Island. The Rams would have needed just eight fewer strokes for second place.
With only three days off between last week’s Wolfpack Intercollegiate which ended on Tuesday, and the beginning of this week’s matchup on Saturday, the Rams were able to shake off a troubled first round to earn the third best team score of the day in round two. Joe Leavitt finished the final day in second place with a 66 (-4), the lowest round of any golfer in the event.
Leavitt, who registered more strokes than usual the past couple of weeks, reemerged as the Rams’ most dominant golfer after tying for the overall lead in par-5 scoring. With a first round of 75, he ended his week with 141 overall strokes, three behind Matthews.
“Two things happened [to Leavitt],” Rhode Island head coach Gregg Burke. “He found his putting stroke again and he steered clear of any bad holes after his bad hole. If he continues this, he’s certainly back to where we always hoped he’d be and he leads for the entire team when he plays well because we all depend on him so much.”
Sophomore Billy Walthouse finished in 20th place with 150 total strokes and junior Nick Fairweather had four more to fall into 38th. Walthouse had an even par with 70 strokes in the first round, but finished the second day with 80. Fairweather’s lowest round came on Day Two when he scored 75 compared to Day One’s 79.
“Billy [Walthouse] went into Day Two, he was in second place and he went into day two to try and win it, but it wasn’t his day,” Burke said. “I was really proud of Nick. He’s really turned into the scratch and claw guy of our team and he played the second round really tough and he was doing really well.”
To round out scoring for Rhode Island, junior Makenzie Denver had a two-round total of 155 strokes, one ahead of senior Seamus Fennelly’s 156. The two finished in a tie for 43rd and a tie for 50th, respectively.
URI will have 10 days off before competing again. With the downtime, Burke said he planned on giving the players a few days off before getting ready for the New England Intercollegiate Golf Association Championships.
“It’s a chance for them [the players] to get on top of their studies and get home,” Burke said. “We’ll come back and practice Monday through Friday, again on Saturday, and compete Sunday and Monday.”
The Rams will finish the fall semester competing in the New England Intercollegiate Golf Association Championships on Oct. 26-27 at The Captain’s Course in Brewster, Massachusetts.