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ESF Golf Team Starts Season

Windy weather, fast greens pose challanges

The ESF golf team started the season with solid showings at two tournaments this month, spotlighting their growth as individuals and a team.

"The team has grown to provide great depth," said Coach John Turbeville. "We are certainly very competitive, with a number of able and interested athletes on our team."

The Mighty Oaks began the season at the Utica Invitational at Hidden Valley Country Club in Utica Sept. 4, where the Mighty Oaks placed eighth out of 10 teams. The ESF team competed against teams from New York, Pennsylvannia and New Jersey, all of which were challenged by windy weather.

"It was a day of very high gusts of wind, over 50 miles per hour," Turbeville said." "You don't play competitive golf often times in conditions like that, so it was certainly an adjustment."

Junior Matt Dennis led the Mighty Oaks with a low score of 81.

The team's showing was impressive, considering the roster had been finalized only the day before the competition after three days of tryouts, Turbeville said.

The Mighty Oaks faced off in their second tournament at the 13th annual Oswego Invitational at the Oswego Country Club Sept. 20. The ESF team placed seventh out of nine teams. The competitors were challenged by fast greens, which caused higher than expected scores. Junior Brendan Beeke lead the team with a low score of 84. Beeke had a fast start and was at par through the first six holes. Sophomore Zach Halstrom overcame a fast green and made a birdie on the fourth hole, a par three, when the other competitors were averaging four or five strokes on the same hole.

The Mighty Oaks will compete in the Onondaga Community College Fall Invitational at The Links at Sunset Ridge at 1 p.m. Sept. 26. ESF's lone female golfer, sophomore Colleen Groneman, will be able to participate in the event, which will have a men's and women's tournament.

The ESF team hopes to continue to improve enough to present a strong showing at the biggest tournament of the season, the U.S. Collegiate Athletic Association Men's National Championship at the Pennsylvania State University Blue Course Oct. 10-12.