Veteran Mason leads golf team to second place

Despite a young lineup and constant traveling, the Owls impress on the road.

Despite a young lineup and constant traveling, the Owls impress on the road.

The golf team traveled to Bedminster, N.J., this weekend to compete in the Lincoln Mercury Intercollegiate and turned out one of its finest outings of the season after carding an overall score of 587 and coming in second in the two-day tournament, which consisted of 18 teams. Senior Andrew Mason led the way for the Owls with a one-under-par score of 143.

The Owls played two quality rounds of golf, carding a 296 on both days of the Intercollegiate. Temple finished Day 1 in first place, but Binghamton University mounted a comeback on the second day to beat Temple by just five strokes. Binghamton senior Jake Katz equaled Mason’s score of 143 while leading the way for his first place team. Villanova, Seton Hall and Delaware University rounded out the Top 5.

Bedminster, N.J., was just one of many stops the golf team has made this season. In fact, the team only plays one tournament at home during its 2010-11 campaign. The Owls opened the season in Bethpage, N.Y., for the McLaughlin Tournament Sept. 17-18 and wasted no time by hopping on the bus and heading toward Newport, R.I., for the Adams Cup from Sept. 19-21. The team then traveled to South Kent, Conn., for the Hartford Hawk Invitational from Sept. 26-28 before finally returning home for the Big 5 Invitational.

“It’s hard traveling,” coach Brian Quinn said. “We’re on the road basically from Thursday to Sunday, 11 weekends out of the year. It’s a huge adjustment for the players, especially when they’re trying to maintain their grades and manage their school work.”

Despite the hardships that go along with constant traveling, Quinn also shed some light on the brighter aspects of the team’s traveling.

“Traveling is also very exciting, especially for the younger players,” Quinn said. “They get to ride on a bus and see all the new places.

Considering the team is so young, the Owls have quietly turned in a solid season. The team’s starting five consists of three freshmen: Steve Burak, Connor McNicholas and Russell Hartung. Mason and sophomore Devin Bibeau are the remaining two.

The team has performed well despite its lack of experience. Temple has managed to finish 10th at the McLaughlin, a three-day tournament consisting of 15 teams. They also finished No. 14 of 17 teams at the Adams Cup, No. 9 of 15 at the Hartford Hawk and No. 14 of 21 at the Big 5 Tournament, in which McNicholas led the way with a 12th-place finish.

“We have a very young team,” Quinn said. “They’re doing an excellent job for a team with three freshmen in their starting five.”

Mason makes up for the relative lack of experience and leadership on the roster. Mason, the team’s captain, seems to impress every time he sets foot on a golf course. The righty tied for seventh overall with a one-under-par three-round total of 209 at the McLaughlin, tied for 21st overall at the Adams Cup with a three-round total of 225 and tied for 13th at the Hartford Hawk Invitational with a five-over-par total of 149.

“He’s a wonderful young man and a great golfer,” Quinn said. “Andrew is a great teammate and a great leader as our captain. He is an excellent example of what a student-athlete should be like, and it’s a privilege to be his coach.”

Mason and the rest of the Owls are now off until mid spring. The Owls resume play March 18 when they compete in the Furman Intercollegiate in Greenville, S.C.

Tyler Sablich can be reach at

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