Knights tie for ninth at Wolfpack
The Rutgers men’s golf team usually prides itself on getting better round by round in tournaments.
At the 17-team Wolfpack Intercollegiate in Raleigh, N.C., the Scarlet Knights failed to improve on Monday’s impressive first-round as the team finish yesterday tied for ninth.
“I thought we just didn’t convert as many puts and stuff like that,” said head coach Rob Shutte. “I don’t know if we got fatigued, but it was definitely a surprise because we normally get better each round.”
The Knights finished their third round carding a dismal 307, but dealt with tougher weather conditions than opening day. The team was fifth after the first 18 holes but could not stay consistent, finishing with an 887.
The outcome also marks the second straight tournament no Knights finished inside of the top 10.
Senior co-captain Jonathan Renza finished just outside the top 10, carding a 216 to finish tied for 11th.
While the team seemed to drop off the third round, Renza became the fourth Knight to finish first for the team.
“I think all of us as a team here and there are putting together good rounds,” Renza said. “We have a lot of tournaments left and we are all feeling pretty confident we can win it individually and as a team.”
Sophomore Jonathan Chang also performed well, carding a 221 to finish tied for 30th in the competitive field. The result was Chang’s first outside of the top 15 this season, but he continues to display consistency. Chang led the tournament with 43 pars.
“That’s the one thing that’s been going pretty good for me,” Chang said. “I just go out there with the same mindset every day and just go out and play golf with the goal of getting my score a little bit lower each time.”
Senior Doug Walters, junior Jacob Stockl and freshman Chase Wheatley comprised the rest of the Knights’ scorecard.
Walters finished tied for 47th with a 224. Stockl led the Knights the first two rounds tied for 12th, but a poor third day saw him drop to tie for 72nd with a 230. Wheatley, competing in his first collegiate event, finished tied for 84th with a 240 and produced the team’s only eagle.
East Tennessee State won the Intercollegiate with a team score of 843, finishing 11 strokes ahead of second place UNC-Greensboro. UNCG’s Carter Jenkins captured the individual title, carding 203.
While finishing toward the middle is not ideal for Rugers, Shutte knows getting players exposure to tournaments early will only benefit them down the road.
“We have had a different lineup these last three tournaments.” Shutte said. “We got some freshmen some exposure and these tournaments in the fall help give guys experience.”
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