Temple Golf finishes fifth at the AAC Championship Tournament

Temple said goodbye to five seniors at the conference championship in Palm Harbor, Florida.

Five seniors saw the end of their Temple golf careers at the three-day American Athletic Conference championship tournament from Sunday to Tuesday.

The Owls finished in fifth place, their best result in program history at the conference championships. Temple shot 873, placing three strokes behind South Florida and 21 strokes behind first-place Memphis during the event at Innisbrook Resort, a par-71 course in Palm Harbor, Florida.

For coach Brian Quinn, this season was a special one.

“It’s been a privilege to coach these kids,” Quinn said.  “The kids competed really well. We’re in a really tough conference and I was very proud of them.”

Seniors John Barone and Gary McCabe both led the team with a 5-over par score to finish in a tie for 14th place.

Then Redshirt junior John Barone (left) and coach Brian Quinn talk at the Wolfpack Fall Intercollegiate in October 2016 in Raleigh, North Carolina. | COURTESY / TEMPLE ATHLETICS

Senior Trey Wren had an impressive first round on Sunday, recording three birdies en route to an even-par round. Wren finished the tournament with a six-over 219 score, which tied for 16th.

Quinn took freshman Conor McGrath out of the competition on Tuesday to allow senior Sam Soeth to play the final round.  Soeth recorded a two-over par 73.

With five seniors leaving, the Owls will be largely inexperienced next season with only two seniors in its graduating class, Quinn said.

McGrath was Temple’s only non-senior to participate in more than four events. Quinn usually used the same lineup each event, using the Owls’ five seniors and McGrath. Now, everyone will play in tournaments next season as Quinn will look for leadership with his younger team, he added.

Nevertheless, this marks a new beginning for the program, Quinn said. Relying on underclassmen next season and the signing of Graham Chase, a top-10 junior golfer in North Carolina, the future of Temple men’s golf looks very bright, he added.

“These kids that are leaving have done so much for Temple golf,” Quinn said.  “It’s really put Temple golf on the map and all the good things people say about Temple golf builds the program because people want to come to play here.”

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