The University of Rhode Island men’s golf team continued to build on their strong start to the season after finishing in second place on Monday at the Binghamton Fall Invitational in New York.
The Rams were thrown into the tournament at the last minute, after the impending threat of Hurricane Joaquin forced them to forfeit their spot in the NC State Intercollegiate. They were able to get a practice round in before competing on Sunday.
Despite the change of venue, the Rams went into the final round with work to do after a one-over par score of 289 had them five strokes off the leader and eventual winner, the University of Delaware. URI was unable to capitalize off a poor showing by the Blue Hens, whose tally of 296 was 12 strokes higher than the previous day. The Rams did not play their best round of golf either, tallying an unsettling score of 293 that was not good enough to erase the sizable deficit amounted on day one.
Head coach Gregg Burke knows that his team was capable of victory. “We played well, but it just slipped through our fingers,” he said.
The Rams were led by junior Billy Walthouse, who followed up his Atlantic 10 Player of the Week honors with a two-day total of 142, tying him for third place in the field. Senior Mackenzie Denver also tallied a top 10 finish with impressive play of his own. Senior captain Joe Leavitt did not bring his usual strong play with an overall score of 151, but may have been limited due to a severe case of poison ivy that had prevented him from being full strength.
“It was some of the worst [poison ivy] I have ever seen,” Burke said. “I have no worries about Joe. He is still recovering, but he will right the ship.”
The result earned the Rams their second consecutive runner-up finish, leaving the team feeling proud, but obviously wanting more.
“We have the luxury of being disappointed with a second-place finish,” Burke said. “We have played four tournaments and only nine teams have beaten us. We will work hard in the weight room and work on improving each individual’s weaknesses.”
URI will have nearly a two-week layoff before their next tournament at Georgetown University.