Owls struggle in spring season opener

Temple placed 17th in a field of 18 schools at the Cleveland Golf Palmetto Intercollegiate on Monday and Tuesday in Aiken, South Carolina.

Temple opened its spring season with a 17th-place finish at the Cleveland Golf Palmetto Intercollegiate in Aiken, South Carolina on Monday and Tuesday.

Temple finished the three-round event with a cumulative score of 909, which was 69 strokes over par. The Owls placed second-to-last in a field dominated by southern schools like Coastal Carolina University, East Carolina and Clemson University, the first-place finisher. The southern schools can practice outdoors during the winter because of the warmer climate, but none of the Owls were interested in making excuses.

“I personally was completely unprepared,” said sophomore Sam Soeth, who tied for 87th with redshirt-freshman Erik Reisner. “There’s no going around that. It was just embarrassing. Your scores are kind of a product of your work ethic.”

“If Sam’s not playing well that’s a big blow to our team,” coach Brian Quinn said. “So we have to get him on the right footing.”

Only Charleston Southern University senior David Eller finished behind Soeth and Reisner’s mark of 32 strokes over par.

Sophomore Trey Wren led the way for Temple with a 12-over 222 for the tournament to finish in a 44th-place tie. Redshirt-sophomore John Barone tied for 54th and junior Mark Farley tied for 69th.

Despite being Temple’s lowest scorer in the event, Wren still wants to improve. He did not want to blame winter weather for the team’s struggles.

“So what,” Wren said. “We don’t have the warm weather they have. We’re going to have to outplay them and outwork them. I expected to play a little bit better than I did. I expected the team to play a little bit better than we did. It’s easy to say ‘We were coming out cold, we were rusty,’ but we were hitting balls.”

Quinn said he would have been pleased with a 10th-12th-place finish and added that the course at the Palmetto Golf Club is difficult to start the season.

“It’s an extremely difficult golf course to play when you haven’t played at all,” Quinn said. The greens are so severe and it was so windy out there.”

Temple returning to the Cleveland Golf Palmetto Intercollegiate to start its Spring 2018 season. Wren hopes that this week’s struggles can be a learning experience for himself and his teammates. Temple will return its entire roster next year except for senior Evan Notaro.

As for the rest of this season, Soeth still has high aspirations.

“I want to get right back to where I was in the beginning of the fall where I was competing to win golf tournaments and as a team we were competing to win golf tournaments,” Soeth said. “That’s where I want to be and I know I can get there if I put the work in.”

Temple’s next event is the Kingsmill Intercollegiate in Williamsburg, Virginia from March 19-21.

Greg Frank can be reached at greg.frank@temple.edu or on Twitter @g_frank6. Follow The Temple News @TheTempleNews and @TTN_Sports.

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