Golf opens spring season at Furman Intercollegiate

Temple will try to improve upon its seventh-place tie with Winthrop in last year’s Furman Intercollegiate in Greenville, S.C.

The golf team, led by former Temple Owl, coach Brian Quinn, starts its Spring 2010 schedule this week in Greenville, S.C., with the Furman Intercollegiate. The Owls will fly south looking to improve upon their seventh-place finish at the Furman Intercollegiate last year. Temple finished with an overall team score of 617 and tied with Winthrop. Junior Andrew Mason led the Owls at the Furman Intercollegiate last year. He finished tied for 16th in last year’s event with scores of 78 and 73. His overall score of 151 was only six strokes off the event’s individual leader, Furman’s sophomore Austin Reeves.

The Owls enter the Furman Intercollegiate this week with more than just the thought of last year’s performance at the event on their minds. Temple will also be motivated by something else – its performance in the Big 5 Invitational this past fall. The Owls, who hosted the event at the Philadelphia Cricket Club, entered as the defending champions but finished in 13th place in the 17-team field. Campbell University claimed the title with a team score of 587 and was led by junior Zach Dresher, who posted a 2-under 140, the best score of any golfer in the event. Temple’s senior Eric Plisko provided a bright spot with his fourth-place finish of 145, five strokes off the overall lead.

Although Plisko made a run at the overall lead, the team itself did not come as close. The Owls posted a score of 616, 29 strokes behind Campbell. Quinn commended Plisko for his strong performance at the Big 5 Invitational but admitted that the team as a whole clearly struggled. He said that the performance was quite a disappointment for him as well as for the players and said he views this spring as a makeup for last semester and expects the team to bounce back.

“I feel that the confidence is high right now,” Quinn said. “They definitely have something to prove because we had really high expectations coming into this season, and in the fall, we struggled as a team as well as individually.”

“I’m expecting a lot from them,” Quinn added. “The team has had a great week of practice, and we play a number of great teams this spring, which will give our boys the chance to see just how good they are.”

Quinn cited consistency as one of the team’s biggest issues and said Temple just did not have good “flow.”

Plisko, a native of Sugar Notch, Pa., led the Owls this past fall. He competed in all six of the events and posted the Owls’ best score in five of them. He tallied a 73.5 scoring average per round, his best since Fall 2008, when he posted a 73.1 scoring average.

Quinn said he knows that a big part of the success the Owls hope to have this spring will rest on the shoulders of Plisko, the team captain.

“He’s a phenomenal player with a great mind for the game and really has to take a backseat to no one in college golf,” Quinn said.

“I’m expecting a lot of really good things out of Mason,” he added. “He’s an incredible talent with a beautiful swing, and if he puts a few things together, he can have a really a wonderful spring.”

Quinn said the team’s main motivation will come not from him but from within.

“These kids have an incredible amount of intestinal fortitude,” Quinn said. “They know they didn’t perform to the level they’re capable of, and they don’t really need me reminding them about that. I just try to give them a better idea of how to attack the flaws that they came up against in the fall. There’s a lot of sports psychology that goes along with the athletic side of this sport.”

Temple looks to begin its quest for redemption with a strong performance at the Furman Intercollegiate Friday.

Raymond Boyd can be reached at

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