September 23, 2019 | 90° F

Rutgers earns top-half finish at Princeton Invitational

Photo by Yingjie Hu |

Freshman Toks Pedro finished fifth at the Princeton Invitational on the strength of four birdies and 10 pars on April 11.

With the Princeton Invitational presenting a local course, the Rutgers men's golf team returned to action over the weekend in unique style.

The Scarlet Knights competed at Aronimink in Newtown Sqaure, Pennsylvania, for the first round on Saturday. Aronimink was rated as the fourth-most difficult course on the PGA Tour by Links Magazine in 2010, set to host the 2018 BMW Championship.

With that information in mind, the course's difficulty presented a challenging task for Rutgers.

The team finished in a tie for seventh place after putting up a score of 301, just 11 strokes from the lead.

Freshman Toks Pedro had four birdies and 10 pars on Saturday. He shot a plus-one, 71 and tied for fifth in the individual standings.

Louis Bodine also earned a high finish after the first round in 17th place. The junior hit 11 pars and an eagle on the par-five, 16th for a 74.

Freshmen Jack Panagos and Matt Holuta each had a plus-eight, 78. Panagos shot 10 pars, while Holuta had two birdies and seven pars.

Senior Jacob Stockl hit a nine over par, 79 on Saturday afternoon. He had eight pars and birdied the par-five, ninth hole.

The Princeton Invitational continued on Sunday at the Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pennsylvania.

Stockl was first up on the tee for Rutgers and he produced a solid score for the Knights with a plus-two, 72. He hit 12 pars and had birdies on the second and 10th holes before concluding the invitational with a plus-11.

“Today, I mean, I played better,” Stockl said. “I feel like I was taking a lot more solid shots. I feel like I was striking the ball very well both days. Putting was tough for me yesterday but today was better. It was a really solid round, it wasn’t a great round but definitely a round that would help the team.”

Panagos shot a two over par, 72 with three birdies and finished with a final score of plus-10 for the event. Bodine had a plus-seven, 77 on Sunday and hit two birdies. 

Holuta shot a plus-four, 74 and finished at plus-12 overall. Bodine, Panagos, and Stockl all had top-30 finishes.

Pedro led the way for his team and earned a top-ten spot in the individual standings in a tie for 5th place. Pedro had a stellar event with a plus-one, 71 on Sunday and he shot a plus-two as a whole.

“He looked good,” said head coach Rob Shutte. “He looked like somebody who’s poised to realize his talent and start to put good scores together. He’s got a little more swagger to his step, you know, front running and feeling like he’s the man.”

Rutgers ended the Princeton Invitational with a total of 590 after shooting a 289 in the second round. The Knights earned a top-five finish at fourth place in the standings, higher than Princeton which finished in fifth.

“Today we got off to a decent start,” said Shutte. “We didn’t shoot ourselves in the foot today. Today’s round through, I think we had a couple guys through four, five holes, one-under, even, one-over and hanging around par which is good. (Saturday) … I think we probably could’ve played a little better. It was tougher conditions yesterday so scoring didn’t necessarily reflect it but it was definitely an improvement for sure.”

For updates on the Rutgers men's golf team, follow @TargumSports on Twitter.

Evan Bruno

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