Golf team loses City 6 title by one stroke

Drexel senior Aaron Fricke made a birdie on the 18th hole to win the individual title and give the Dragons the team championship at the City 6 Championship on Saturday in Northeast Philadelphia.

Then redshirt junior John Barone watches his shot during practice on Nov. 1, 2018 at Blue Bell Country Club in Montgomery County. | SYDNEY SCHAEFER / FILE PHOTO

After one playoff hole at the 2016 City 6 Championship, Temple came away with the title.

The Owls had a chance to repeat on Saturday.

“I’m hoping to win this week,” junior Sam Soeth said before the match. “It’s a smaller field in a one-day tournament. If you get heated up, there’s no stopping you. We want to go out and stomp on everyone’s necks.”

Saturday’s event played at The Union League Golf Club at Torresdale in Northeast Philadelphia came down to the final group on the final hole. Temple and Drexel were tied at 9-over par before Dragons senior Aaron Fricke hit a sweeping approach to the 18th green that rolled within 12 feet of the hole.

Fricke drained the putt to finish shooting 1-under-par 69, win the individual title and seal the tournament championship for Drexel. The Dragons bested Temple, 288-289. Penn placed third at 295, St. Joseph’s and Villanova shot 305 and La Salle placed last at 310.

Coach Brian Quinn used four of the five golfers who won last year’s City 6 title on Saturday. One of them, redshirt junior John Barone, led the team and placed second overall with an even-par 70.

“I didn’t really have my best stuff this week, but I was able to grind it out,” Barone said.

Junior Gary McCabe, who didn’t compete in last year’s City 6, tied for ninth with senior Bobby Firth at 4-over 74. Firth made his first start of the season and earned his highest career finish.

Senior Mark Farley also made his first start of the season and shot 71 to finish third. After starting 4-over par through the first nine holes, Farley had three birdies and never bogeyed on the back nine.

Temple hung in with Drexel despite Soeth and junior Trey Wren’s struggles. The pair shot 79 and 77, respectively.

The Owls played to their strength, which is par-5 five scoring. Temple led the field at the City 6 in the category, finishing 5-under par on Saturday.

Temple led Drexel in pars, 62-53, and had 15 birdies to Drexel’s 12. Only Penn had more birdies with 16.

But the Dragons were seven shots better on par-3 holes and five shots better on par-4s.

The course proved to be a formidable opponent.

“Anyone can hit it straight out here,” course utility worker Brandon Klakowicz said before the match. “These guys are really going to have trouble around the greens.”

As the fall season officially comes to an end, the Owls go home with a sour taste in their mouths.

“This was something we were really looking forward to defend,” Farley said. “Second place doesn’t mean anything. We wanted to come out on top today.”

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