Rutgers wraps up season with seventh place finish
Golf is one of the most daunting and frustrating sports on the planet, but Toks Pedro is making it look easy.
In his second year as a member of the Rutgers men’s golf team, the sophomore is taking the college golf world by storm. Pedro has some big goals and aspirations that he is looking to accomplish during the remainder of his career as a Scarlet Knight.
One of these goals is to become not only the best golfer in the Big Ten conference, but the top collegiate golfer in the country. Pedro came one step closer to achieving his objective at the Maryland Invitational on Monday and Tuesday.
At the Woodmont Country Club in Rockville, Maryland, Pedro was among the cream of the crop, finishing in a tie for sixth place. The Lagos, Nigeria, native bowled over the majority of the field.
In the first round of Maryland Invitational, Pedro shot a two-under par, 70. He hit six birdies and nine pars on the afternoon and ended day one in a tie for second place. In the second round, Pedro put up a plus-four, 76, had 12 pars and picked up a birdie on the first hole.
Pedro compiled a plus-two, 146 total score at the event.
“I played some of my best golf the first round I’ve played all season,” Pedro said. “I didn’t play as well in the second round, but I really scrambled and fought hard. I’m not disappointed with what I shot because it wasn’t really a wasted round. I scrambled to shoot what I shot. It just wasn’t there today.”
Pedro thought there were a lot of positives to take out of his play in Maryland.
“Overall, I think it was a good tournament,” he said. “A lot of positives to take out of it individually, but there’s also a lot of things to learn and to improve for the spring.”
Another second-year player shined for Rutgers at Maryland as well. Sophomore Matt Holuta finished just a stroke behind his teammate and secured a tie for eighth place in the standings.
On Monday, Holuta shot an even par, 72 at the par 72 North Course at the Woodmont Country Club. He notched a par on 10 out the 18 holes in the first round and birdied four times. He finished the day tied for 7th place in the field.
In the second round, Holuta shot 12 pars and birdied on the 11th hole and 18th hole. He hit a three over par, 75, for the round and a total mark of 147.
“Today, I was in seventh place for the first round,” Holuta said on Tuesday. “I was in a good spot to have a good round today and I played pretty solid. I was hitting the ball really well and I was giving myself a lot of opportunities to make some birdies and just played really solid throughout the day, staying patient. Unfortunately, at the end I kind of struggled a little bit the last few holes and a couple of good holes could’ve really shot me up the leader board, but overall, it was still a pretty good day.”
As a team, the Knights finished in seventh place in the 11-team field, putting up a 606 total score. Senior Jonathan Chang, junior Chase Wheatley and sophomore Jack Panagos composed the rest of the starting lineup for Rutgers. Freshman Matthew Mourin saw playing time as an individual golfer.
The Knights played exceptionally well on Monday in the first round, concluding the day in sixth place. The team shot a plus-eight, 296, but fell two spots in the standings after Tuesday’s competition.
Two rounds were scheduled to be played on Monday with the third round taking place yesterday, but due to frosty, cold conditions, the competition was reduced to two rounds. Round one was played Monday and the second round took place Tuesday.
The Knights fell two spots in the standings on Tuesday, from sixth to eighth place. The team shot a 306 in the third round.
In the first round, Chang shot a five over par, 77 and in the second round on Tuesday, he hit a plus-eight 80. He finished in 47th place in the field with a 157 total score.
Wheatley secured a 53rd place finish with a 160. He had a round one, 81 and a 79 in the second round. Panagos shot a 161 to earn 57th place in the standings. He hit a 77 and an 81 at the Maryland Invitational.
Mourin posted 79’s in rounds one and two for a 158 scorecard. He tied for 48th place.
James Madison won the Maryland Invitational with a 581 score followed by Loyola-Maryland in second and host Maryland in third.
Head coach Rob Shutte thought the event accurately portrayed his team’s season as a whole.
“I thought the invitational was a reflection of our season,” Shutte said. “We had some individual bright spots, but we were one or two good scores from putting it all together. We competed hard, and we’re right there — we just need to put more work to reach the next level. With the help of Ben Shear, strength and conditioning consultant, we’ll improve our bodies and get better during the offseason.”
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