The golf team seems to go unnoticed by Temple’s student population, as the sport just isn’t one that attracts the crowds the basketball or even football does.
Yet, coach Brian Quinn said the Owls put in more hours on and off the playing field than any other team on campus.
“Hardest sport to play in all of collegiate sports is Division I golf,” Quinn said. “They do the most traveling and preparing for the sport traveling year round.”
And that hard work has paid off, as the Owls’ 2008-2009 season has started off with a bang. By finishing in the top 10 in four of five tournaments and finishing first or second in two of those five, the Owls have greatly improved their game.
“They have a strategy on the course, [so] they know what they have to do when they go out on the course on game day,” Quinn said. “The team has more structure than they had before. It is the same players for the most part when I got here.”
Two weekends ago, the Owls hosted the Big 5 Tournament at their home course in Flourtown, Pa. The tournament brought rivals Drexel, Penn, Saint Joseph’s and La Salle to the Philadelphia Cricket Club.
And the rivalries of these city schools carry over onto the golf course as well.
“Golf is very competitive, and anyone can win on any day,” junior Eric Plisko said. “[But] we should be the best in the city.”
After hesitating for a moment, Plisko continued.
“We are the best team in the city,” he said.
The Owls proved that by winning the tournament, finishing one stroke ahead of Seton Hall.
This was Temple’s first tournament victory since May 2005 when it won the Scotty Duncan Invitational.
“[It was a] great feeling getting the win, especially since we had a tough loss last week and we had that taste in our mouths,” senior Kevin Busteed said.
This Monday, the Owls will take those positive vibes into the ODU/Seascape Invitational in Kitty Hawk, N.C.
“We [need to] ride this win and work hard, clean up some stuff and just work on our game,” Plisko said. “We have to keep confident.”
The team attributes that confidence, and the early success, to Quinn.
“Before he came in, we got beat by all of those schools,” Busteed said. “And he worked on our game and helped us on those small things. And now we are the best team in the city.”
But being the self-proclaimed best team in the city isn’t enough. The Owls want more.
“Our goal for our program is to be a Top 30 in the country team,” Quinn said.
Bryan Zebleckes can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.