For Matt Teesdale, there are no longer 18 holes in a round of golf – at least in his mind there aren’t.
To help snap out of his spring struggles, the junior said he now breaks each round into three six-hole games in which he tries to shoot par for each.
Teesdale isn’t the only golfer aiming to shake off the rust from a harsh winter that forced the team to practice mostly indoors. As Teesdale has struggled this spring, so has the rest of the golf team.
At the Furman Intercollegiate, Teesdale finished 84th out of 111 golfers. His score of 231 was the third-best on the team. At the Tiger Invitational, Teesdale placed 76th, with a score of 245. Only five golfers finished with a worse score than Teesdale at the event. Last weekend, Teesdale tied sophomore Brandon Matthews for 48th overall at the Wolfpack Open.
“[Teesdale’s] got all the talent in the world,” senior Matt Crescenzo said. “He just needs to figure out what works for him. If he does that, he will be awesome.”
Teesdale said he has talent and believes he can compete with anybody on the golf course.
“If you put the practice in, you should be confident,” Teesdale said.
Consistency for Teesdale has been a point of emphasis. Lately, as Teesdale admitted, his game has been sporadic. To help fix this, he said he has been using the mind game to help him focus.
“We just need him to turn the corner a bit and just trust himself a little more and if he does that, I think that helps our team immensely,” coach Brian Quinn said.
As the team’s No. 3 player, Teesdale has a lengthy list of accomplishments at the collegiate level. Last spring he finished in the Top 10 at three events, won a share of the title at the Princeton Invitational, averaged 74.5 strokes per round and earned Atlantic 10 Player of the Week honors.
“He has so much talent, it’s crazy,” Matthews said.
“He’s probably one of the most talented kids in the country,” Quinn said.
Teesdale finished tied for 25th at the Middlebank Intercollegiate at Kingsmill Resort River Course. He had the lowest score on the team, 220, and was the most consistent Temple golfer at the tournament. He did not shoot higher than a 74 during the three days of the event. Teesdale also finished tied for 30th at the Princeton Invitational, shooting a two-under 69 on the final day to move from 53rd to 30th.
“He has the ability to play really good,” Crescenzo said. “He has more ability than anyone on the team.”
“He’s an amazing player – he is really the key for us because he is that good,” Quinn said. “If he gets going a little, that will raise our program to a new level.”
In his third year on the team, Teesdale also brings a leadership aspect to the program, players said.
“He’s got no problem telling kids what they need to do,” Crescenzo said.
With one more event before the American Athletic Conference Championship, the golfers are running out of time to shake off the rust from their return from what was a harsh winter that prevented them from practicing outdoors.
“I’m actually really excited for where we are at,” Matthews said. “I think we are going to be pretty good.”
Quinn said he believes Teesdale has picked up momentum during each week of competition.
“He’s pretty close to hitting his stride,” Quinn said.
Michael Guise can be reached at email@example.com. MikeG2511.