Charlotte claimed the Atlantic Ten Conference crown. Temple ended up ahead of rivals Duquesne and La Salle but recorded a final team score of 952.
The Temple golf team took its swings at the Atlantic Ten Championship this weekend but came up short in the competition.
The Owls finished 10th in the 12-team field this past weekend at the Mission Inn Golf and Tennis Resort in Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla. They did finish ahead of in-state rival Duquesne and Big 5 rival La Salle. The Dukes finished with a score of 129-over par, while the Explorers ended up dead last with a score of 168-over par.
The top Temple performer was junior Mark Edmondson, who finished tied for 17th overall with a score of 229, 16-over par. Edmondson’s best round was a 1-under par 70 on Day 1 of the championships.
The Owls were followed by junior Andrew Mason (22-over par), redshirt freshman David Bibeau (26-over par), junior Joseph Kim (36-over par) and senior Eric Plisko (49-over par). The team finished with a final score of 952, not exactly what coach Brian Quinn was hoping for.
“We really struggled this weekend and, for the most part, all year,” Quinn said. “We hoped for a Top 5 finish and weren’t even close. We have to get much better to get where we want to be.”
Plisko is the team’s lone senior and got off to a great start this season. He finished better than 10-over par in all of the year’s first five tournaments. After that, though, Plisko tailed off. Even though his game may not have been exactly where he wanted it, Quinn said he knows how much Plisko meant to this team. Plisko averaged 72.8 strokes per round for his career before this recent slide.
“He is the ultimate student-athlete,” Quinn said. “He has been even better off the course than on the course. As a human being, he is more than anyone could ever ask for. Our team will greatly miss everything that he has brought to this team.”
The A-10 Tournament was dominated by one of the better teams in the country. Charlotte entered the championships ranked No. 49 in the nation by golfweek.com, and the 49ers showed why they are the class of the conference. Charlotte easily walked away with the conference crown, as the 49ers defeated second-place Richmond by 18 strokes, 863-881. Xavier, which shot 39-over par as a team and recorded 892 strokes, rounded out the Top 3.
The A-10 title was the fifth consecutive title for the 49ers. The Owls last claimed the crown in 1995.
The 49ers were led by golfweek.com’s 23rd-ranked player, senior Corey Nagy. Nagy finished all three rounds at par or better and walked away with the individual title, his second consecutive first-place finish. He ended the tournament with a 4-under par 209, two strokes ahead of teammate sophomore Olafur Loftsson. Nagy and Loftsson were the only two individuals to finish under par for the championship.
Quinn said he hopes his team can improve next season and compete with a team like Charlotte despite the loss of Plisko.
“We did get a lot of experience out of this weekend,” Quinn said. “We are a young team and will get better. We have a good recruiting class coming in, so hopefully, we will show the results on the course.
“Mark Edmondson and Andrew Mason have established themselves as players to be watched in this conference,” Quinn added. “They actually played pretty well and hopefully, this will carry over to next year.”
Edmondson was named the Golf Performer of the Week in the A-10 last week after he posted his first career Top 5 finish in the Rutherford Intercollegiate Tournament.
“We have got it going in the right direction,” Quinn said. “We have been representing this university great off the course. [We] know we need to add the on-the-course [part].”
Ryan Rosengrant can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.