Senior golf captain Joe Leavitt and junior Billy Walthouse led the University of Rhode Island golf team to a comeback, finishing in first place this past weekend at the Ryan T. Lee Memorial tournament in Connecticut.
“We did not play well on Saturday,” head coach Gregg Burke said. “I knew we were six or eight strokes better than we played. I told them to just play Rhody golf and we’ll win.”
The team amassed a total score of 574 points over the course of the two-day tournament, edging Bryant University by a single stroke.
After a disappointing opening round on Saturday, Rhode Island was tied in second place. On Sunday, they tallied a final round score of 282, three strokes ahead of the runner-up.
Leavitt spurred the rally with a Â clutch play on the back nine that included four consecutive birdies. He followed up his even-par on Saturday by shooting a 69 in the final round, tying for best score of the tournament. Walthouse provided further reinforcement, with a low round of 68 on Sunday.
The powerful one-two punch of the upperclassmen was aided by freshmen Dawson Jones, whose total score tied with Walthouse.
“I’m not surprised in the least [with Jones’ play],” Burke said. “I followed him a bunch before he came here. He is a unique talent. I think he is just as good as Billy Walthouse at his age. If he continues to learn the ropes from Billy and Joe Leavitt, then I think he is capable of being a great golfer for this school.”
Seniors Nick Fairweather and Makenzie Denver posted final scores of +4 and +2, respectively.
“Our mantra is just to go back to work,” Burke said.
The Rams will try to build on their momentum with their next stop at the Hartford Hawks Invitational next Monday.