Rutgers endures rocky season, tournament results
During the fall season, the Rutgers men’s golf team gave third-year head coach Rob Shutte a reason to be optimistic entering the spring season.
But the Scarlet Knights’ inconsistent play from tournament to tournament also gives Shutte some reason to be uncertain.
Rutgers began its season placing 10th on Sept. 7 at the Wolverine Intercollegiate in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Junior Jonathan Chang paced the Knights in the 11-team event, finishing 12th (214) in the 66-player field.
Meanwhile, junior Louis Bodine’s contribution lifted Rutgers, as he shot an impressive 69 in the final round to help the Knights avoid a last-place finish.
After leading through 36 holes, Rutgers finished one stroke behind Wofford College for second place Sept. 20 in the annual Rutgers Invitational.
Senior Jacob Stockl paced the Knights, finishing six-under and second overall (207) in the 95-player field. Stockl’s performance earned him Big Ten Co-Golfer of the Week honors and left Rutgers optimistic entering Sept. 28 and the Badger Invitational.
But the Knights returned back to form and matched their performance level at the Wolverine Intercollegiate — Rutgers placed 11th in the 13-team field.
Chang paced the Knights, shooting 6-over par and tied for 17th in the 78-player field. Freshman Toks Pedro’s stayed consistent each round (77-76-76), finishing tied for 40th with a 229 total.
At the 12-team Maryland Invitational from Oct. 13-14, Rutgers tied for sixth place with a 902. Despite inclement weather, Pedro prevailed, improving on his last performance and finishing in 24th place.
Tying for ninth, Chang fell to the event’s co-medalists. Kyle Hart of George Mason and Jonathon Dilanni of Elon beat Chang by six strokes.
His consistency, though, helped Rutgers finish its season on a high note Oct. 19 at the Lehigh Invitational.
The Knights placed second in the 12-team tournament. Chang showed his consistency by tying for fifth in the 66-player field. Teammates Michael Howe and Stockl finished tied for eighth and 11th, respectively.
Although Rutgers’ up-and-down play during the season raises doubt for the team’s future, the consistent play of Chang, a senior leader in Stockl and the prospect of Pedro turning into a star are all reasons Shutte can stay optimistic for the spring.