A season of struggles ended for the golf team on Tuesday at the American Athletic Conference golf championship at Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club in Palm Harbor, Florida.
The Owls finished in last place in the nine-team, three-round championship carding a cumulative team score of 902 for the event. Sophomore Trey Wren was Temple’s lowest scorer in its final event of the spring finishing eight strokes over par for the championship and placing 15th on the individual leaderboard.
Wren was followed by redshirt freshman Erik Reisner and sophomore Sam Soeth who were both 15-over after three rounds of play. Sophomore Gary McCabe and redshirt sophomore John Barone rounded out the scorecard for the Owls shooting 17 and 19 strokes over par respectively.
Barone was one of Temple’s few reliable scorers this season as indicated by his first two rounds at the American Athletic Conference Championship where he shot 74 in each round. However, the Dunmore, Pa native carded a final round 84 on Tuesday and said there was plenty to pick apart of his performance.
“Everything,” Barone said. “I didn’t hit it well, I didn’t putt it well.”
Furthermore, Barone felt like he had let down his team with his woeful final round. Just 11 strokes separated Temple from fifth-place finisher Memphis. Barone felt if he turned in a better final round, the Owls could have moved up a couple spots on the team leaderboard.
“Trey held his own, the other guys held their own and I wasn’t there to back them up,” Barone concluded.
Not only was Wren Temple’s lowest score in its final event of the 2016-17 season, but he was also its most consistent. Wren shot an opening round 74, followed by a second round 73 and closed with a final round 74.
In a season of struggles for the Owls, Wren leaves with his head held away about where he can go in the second half of his career at Temple. The sophomore believes there are brighter days ahead after his strong finish.
“I’m trending in the right direction,” Wren said. “I was really struggling at [the Princeton Intercollegiate and Wolfpack Spring Open] and I worked really hard this week. I’m swinging it really well.”
Wren noted that ball striking was where he felt he made his biggest improvement not only toward the end of this season, but since joining the golf program as a walk-on in the fall of 2015.
“I learned how to play with power I never had and a game I never had, and this year I kind of refined things,” Wren said of the first two years of his career as an Owl. “I’m a completely different player than I was when I came to Temple. I’ve never been better than I am right now.”
Temple will return 11 of its 12 players from its 2016-17 roster for next season.
Greg Frank can be reached at Greg.Frank@temple.edu or on Twitter @g_frank6.