Photo courtesy of GoRhody.
While the Georgetown Intercollegiate wasn’t quite the ribbon-on-top University of Rhode Island Golf was looking for to cap off their successful fall, it leaves some momentum as they head into the offseason.
Rhody finished in eighth out of a 12 team field that included national powerhouse University of Washington, who ran away with the tournament with a team score of 17-under par. The Rams finished with a team total of 36-over par, but did save their best for last, finishing the final round with the third best score of the day at seven-over par.
“It was a solid tournament for us,” said Head Coach Gregg Burke. “We scratched and clawed at the end and I like that. But we have a long way to go, a really long way to go.”
URI had a very solid fall campaign, finishing in first at the Wildcat Invitational, tying for second in the Dartmouth Invitational and coming in fourth at the Doc Gimmler earlier this fall.
While as a team Rhody did incredibly well, it would be remiss to not mention the outstanding play of junior Chris Francoeur, who has cemented himself as one of the best players in the Atlantic-10.
Francoeur’s worst finish in the fall was a solo 10th place finish at the Doc Gimmler, where he finished even par. He took home a win at the Alex Lagowitz Memorial after finishing at seven-under par and also added a second place finish, a tie for third and a tie for seventh this past week at the Georgetown Intercollegiate, where he finished one over par for the tournament. On the season, Francoeur’s cumulative score is 19-under par and with only two rounds over par on the season, Rhode Island knows their number one will be there every tournament.
“Chris [Francoeur] has proven to be just what we hoped he’d be: special,” said Burke. “He’s on track to be a top five player in the history of the University of Rhode Island. He’s totally dedicated himself to exploring his gift. His personal growth and golf growth have been a joy for me to watch.”
The Rams now shift gears towards a long offseason, as they have roughly a five-month layover until their next event in mid-March. Don’t let the length of the off season fool you; there will be no hibernation for Rhode Island golf.
“They’ll play a lot,” said Burke. “They’ll play three to five times a week and then when it gets too cold or the snow comes we’ll be hitting indoors. We had two trackmen who were generously donated to us. We’ll be working hard. We have five months before we play again. We’ll push them really hard which will help them mentally on the golf course. We don’t shut down, we ramp up.”
Burke’s expectations for his team remain the same as well: high.
“We’re talented,” said Burke. “We’ve got five months in the weight room to focus and get better and that’s exactly what we’ll do. I expect Chris [Francoeur] to contend in every tournament, I expect the team to contend in every tournament.”