The golf team did something this past week that they hadn’t done in almost two years: win a tournament as a team.
The Owls won the Wildcat Invitational that took place from April 1-2 at White Manor Country Club in Malvern, Pa. by three strokes against Rhode Island.
Senior Devin Bibeau was the lone member of the team who was in the starting lineup this week and in the Owls’ last win, also against Rhode Island, at the Spring Invitational in April 2011. Bibeau said he appreciates this team win more than the last one because of all the work he’s seen go into the team in the past four years.
“It feels great, I’ve been able to see some of these kids grow a lot as golfers,” Bibeau said. “It’s great to see the culmination of what goes into everything that we do. It’s great seeing all of our hard work pay off.”
The team win for the Owls is their third since coach Brian Quinn took over the program in Fall 2007. It took a second-day comeback for the Owls to win the tournament by three shots. The Owls found themselves in sixth place after the fifth day. Bibeau said that the team certainly didn’t play their best golf en route to victory.
“It was good, we’ve been working hard and it’s paying off, it’s always great to get your first victory of the season,” Bibeau said. “We didn’t play our best golf and we were still able to pull out the victory so it really shows what we’re capable of.”
In the win, Bibeau finished tied for ninth overall, which was good for second on the Temple roster.
“I really think the ceiling is limitless for us, not only for the rest of this year but in the future as well, there’s really no limit as to what this team can achieve,” Bibeau said. “The future of Temple golf is definitely heading in the right direction.”
Freshman Brandon Matthews won both the Hartford Hawks Invitational and the Big 5 Invitational along with several Atlantic Ten Conference Rookie of the Week honors in the fall, but constantly reiterated that he wanted to be apart of team success. Matthews’ sixth-place finish at the Wildcat Invitational was the best on the Owls’ roster, but he said it was more important that he got his first taste of team victory.
“It was great to finally see our whole team come together and play well enough to get a win,” Matthews said. “It was big not only for our team but for our coach, we definitely didn’t play our best but it was good enough to play some really great teams.”
Like Bibeau, Matthews sees this team as being filled with untapped potential. Matthews credits Bibeau and his coach with working hard over the years and wants to reward them with more team victories. With talents such as Matthews, sophomore Matt Teesdale, sophomore Paul Carbone and junior Matt Crescenzo paired with a senior leader in Bibeau, those goals are certainly feasible.
“Temple golf is definitely on the upward spiral and it’s only getting better,” Matthews said. “Coach and Devin have put in some much hard work and time over the years, they deserve more wins for what they’ve done over the years and eventually coach deserves to take a team to the NCAA Championships.”
Over the past two years there has been an obvious improvement in Temple’s golf program. The Owls are putting themselves in position to and win tournaments, this past weekend they finished fourth at the Yale Spring Opener, an improvement on their seventh-place finish last year. Bibeau has been the unquestionable leader of this year’s team and is happy that he’ll be leaving Temple with the golf program heading in a good direction.
“I really have to thank all the guys for working so hard in the past year, before this year coach and I had a vision of this team improving and I definitely take pride in being this team’s leader,” Bibeau said. “It’s amazing seeing how much the guys have improved in the last four years and the younger guys too; Temple golf is definitely headed in the right direction.”
Anthony Bellino can be reached at Anthony.firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Bellino_Anthony.