John Barone felt like a freshman after his performance at the Quechee Club Collegiate Challenge.
The redshirt junior carded a seven-over 79 in the final round on Sunday in Vermont. His team, coming off a first-place finish at the Cornell Invitational on Sept. 16 and 17, looked to repeat its performance. Much to their chagrin, however, the Owls struggled to card even par rounds and finished 10th out of 14 teams.
Coach Brian Quinn tried to build on the momentum of last week’s low scorers and made a change in his starting five in hopes of doing so. He promoted sophomore Marty McGuckin — who tied for 10th at the Cornell Invitational to earn the best finish of his college career — to the starting team. Junior Sam Soeth moved to the individual portion of competition.
“If you look at the numbers last week, Marty outplayed a couple of kids on the team,” Quinn said. “We’re just trying to get everybody some experience.”
Soeth, who finished tied for 31st at six-over 79 in Vermont, was not downtrodden over his being slotted in the individual portion of the competition.
“Sam came to me and said as long that he would get to play as an individual, he would be willing to step aside and let Marty play,”Quinn said. “It was really a class act by Sam.”
Despite the change, the Owls couldn’t muster the type of rounds needed to compete at the top of the leaderboard. The Owls finished the weekend with a score of 28 over par, in comparison to just three over last week. Quinn felt the course in Vermont gave the Owls a lot of trouble.
Temple, a young team still looking to find its stride, had high scores on Sunday. Only two of the five starters posted scores on the second day that were lower than those on the first. In last week’s win at the Cornell Invitational, the Owls made up a 3-stroke deficit on the final day.
“We played four holes on the golf course 40 over par,” Quinn said. “We just came out flat. You can’t have those scores and expect to win tournaments.”
“The kids have really never experienced a win like that,” Quinn said. “They fell asleep at the wheel this week, and that’s on me.”
The Owls will look to rebound on Oct. 2 and 3 in Akron, Ohio at the Firestone Invitational.
Quinn said Barone, junior Trey Wren and sophomore Dawson Anders will all play at Firestone, and the rest of the team will compete for the other two starting spots at practice this week.
“This is the best thing that could happen to us,” Quinn said. “If we needed to play bad, and we want to get it out of the way, we certainly did this week.”