Photo courtesy of Julie Fletcher of GoRhody.

In their second invitational since returning for the spring season, the University of Rhode Island golf team finished second at the Villanova Wildcat Invitational.

The Rams mounted a big comeback on the second day, climbing from seven out of 17 teams all the way to second place. Ultimately, they were not able to beat out Drexel, a team that finished with a score of 573 that was just able to beat out URI’s score of 578. The comeback was spearheaded by junior Dawson Jones, who finished three under par with a 68 on the second day and fifth overall in the invitational. Redshirt sophomore Jason Short finished three under par as well and placed 16 out of 104 golfers.

“As well as we played, it stings to lose by just five given how poorly we played yesterday,” Head Coach Gregg Burke said. “We came here thinking even par would win and to shoot 13-over was disappointing. But a week ago, I said winners step up in the final rounds and we did that again today. Today was more representative of who we are.”

Also contributing to the Rams comeback was freshman Chris Francoeur who finished one stroke over par at 72, redshirt junior Brody King finished with a 73 on both days and tied Short at 16 overall, and Bobby Weise with a second day score of 78. Such a large comeback was needed after the team had what coach Burke’s described as a disappointing day.

“It was a golf course we knew we could play well at,” Burke said in an interview with GoRhody. “With weather in the high 30’s and low 40’s, we felt we could out-tough people. We didn’t do that.”

The first day was not one the Rhode Island golfers would like to remember, as the team finished with a team score of 297, 13 strokes over par. Ultimately they were in seventh behind teams like Drexel, St. Johns and their Atlantic 10 rival Fordham. With the day done the Rams knew they were going to have to play a lot better the next day, and that is exactly what they did.

Of the group of 104 golfers at Villanova, Short was able to jump 65 spots in the standings by knocking 10 strokes off his score going from 81 in the field, all the way up to 16.  And the program as a whole finished with the best score of the second day finishing three strokes under par as a team. In all, four of URI’s golfers were able to improve from their first day scores.

The URI golf team will get back to work Monday and Tuesday at the Rhode Island Invitational held at Quidnessett Country Club in North Kingstown. This will be their final invitational before the A-10 Championships in Orlando, Florida.