In their first events of 2019, Rhode Island Men’s golf finished in last place in their first tournament, and first as a team in their second tournament this past week.
Rhody kicked the season off in Aiken, South Carolina and played in the Palmetto Intercollegiate Tournament. The tournament was held at Palmetto Golf Club. The club is set up as a par 70 and was playing at a yardage of 6,617 yards. There they finished last, which was in 18th place.
Other teams involved in this tournament were Clemson, Virginia Commonwealth, Virginia and South Carolina. South Carolina was able to win the tournament with a team score of -27. For reference, the second place finisher, Virginia, finished with a team score of eight over par.
Rhode Island as a team was paced by senior Dawson Jones, who shot eight over par as an individual and tied for 29th out of a field of 90 golfers. Chris Francoeur, a sophomore for URI, shot a score of 19 over par. Francoeur started off the tournament solidly shooting a four over 74, and five over 75 the first two rounds. However, he did tail off on the third day, shooting an 80 on the final day. Sean Taylor, a freshman for Rhody, competed in his first ever tournament for the Rams. Taylor turned in a three round score of 32 strokes over par. Taylor’s nerves showed in his first round as he shot 88, but was able to find a groover the next two rounds, firing scores of 78 and 77 to complete a solid finish in his first appearance.
“It was a good experience for us,” said Head Coach Gregg Burke. “We had some really good work before it.”
Just a week later the Rams were able to collect a win at the Cape Fear National Intercollegiate, held in Leland, North Carolina. This tournament was held at Cape Fear National Golf Club, which plays as a par 72 and for this tournament played at 6,850 yards.
As a team the Rams shot 20 over par, with South Carolina Beaufort in second place finishing at 26 over par. Rhody had a tremendous effort from the trifecta of Chris Francoeur, Dawson Jones and Brody King. Francoeur had a tremendous tournament, winning as an individual at even par over three rounds. Jones finished tied for second with a score of one over par, and King finished in solo fourth with a score of three over par.
The three of them were all named to the All-Tournament team. This was a tournament with nine teams including Rhode Island, and featured a field of 51 golfers.
“Our top three are really, really good,” said Burke. “Chris (Francoeur) is the best athlete we’ve ever had play golf in my 15 years at URI. He’s on the verge of being very special. He’s starting to learn how to manage the course better. Absolutely has to be a better putter. But he’s on the verge of being a very special golfer for us.”