Senior Andrew Mason shot four-over-par 220 in Florida.
As its captain’s career at Temple came to a close, the golf team finished the season strong with another Top 5 finish.
The Owls traveled to Orlando, Fla., for the Atlantic Ten Conference Championship this past weekend and came out with a fourth-place finish, making it the sixth-straight tournament in which they have finished in the Top 5. Senior captain Andrew Mason shot a four-over-par 220 and earned all-conference honors in his final performance in Cherry and White. Freshman Connor McNicholas joined him on the 10-man all-conference team and also earned A-10 Most Outstanding Rookie Performer honors after tying for seventh overall.
Charlotte came out on top in the tournament to record its league-record, sixth-straight A-10 Men’s Golf Championship. In a neck-and-neck race with Xavier and Richmond, the Charlotte got birdies from sophomore Andy Sajevic on the 16th and 17th holes and another one from junior Olafur Loftsson on the 18th hole to post a team score of 17-over-par 881 in the 54-hole competition. Richmond came in second place with a score of 23-over-par 887, and Xavier tallied third while shooting 22-over-par 886.
Xavier senior Herbert Day and Richmond sophomore Nick Austin both shot 2-under-par 214 for the tournament, finishing in a tie for the top spot. However, Day ousted Austin in a two-hole, sudden-victory playoff to claim the A-10 individual title and earn Most Outstanding Performer honors.
The Owls, who shot 59-over-par as a team, came next and posted its second Top 4 finish in the last three A-10 Tournaments. Rhode Island, George Washington, Fordham, St. Bonaventure, Dayton, St. Joseph’s and La Salle followed in order. Temple freshman Steve Burak finished the tournament strong by playing his best round of golf on Sunday, finishing 26th overall. Freshman Russell Hartung finished 47th to round it out for Temple, a squad that featured three freshmen and one sophomore in this season’s starting lineup.
Mason capped off a good golf career at Temple, once again leading the way for the Owls. Of the team’s 12 tournaments in the 2010-11 season, Mason has placed highest for the Owls in eight of them. He became the fourth Owl to earn all-conference honors three times, joining Hans Winkler (’92, ’93, ’94, ’95), Tom Carter (’87, ’88, ’90) and Geoff Sisk (’83, ’84, ’85, ’86). Mason also earned all-conference honors in 2009 and 2010.
McNicholas and Mason became the first Temple golfers to make the all-conference team the same year since 2002. McNicholas also joined Jim Sullivan as the only Owl to win top rookie honors in the A-10. Sullivan earned it in 1995.
The Owls finished the 2010-11 season with Top 5 finishes in their final six events under coach Brian Quinn, who couldn’t be reached for comment. Previously, Temple finished third at the Yale Spring Opener, fourth at the Wildcat Invitational, fifth at the Princeton Invitational, fourth at the Century Intercollegiate and first in last week’s University of Rhode Island Invitational. The Owls will be off until next fall when they look to pick up where they left off with a new captain.
Tyler Sablich can be reached at email@example.com.