By: NoraNoel Nolan
Over spring break, the men’s and women’s golf teams traveled down to Daytona Beach, Fla. to train and compete in several tournaments.
The men’s team began the spring slate playing in the Gary Freeman BCU (Bethune-Cookman University) Men’s Spring Invitational from March 1-2. They finished in third place with a total of 911 strokes, 47 over par, after the three-day tournament. The men also competed in the Lonnie Barton Invitational finishing in fourth place.
Senior Matt Shubley led the Pioneers with rounds of 76, 73, and 74, respectively. He finished fourth in the tournament and trailed the tournament champion by five shots. Freshman teammate Saptak Talwar tied for fifth, shooting 78, 72, and 74. Sophomore Clifford Lindholm shot 74, 75, 81 to tie for the twelfth place.
Shubley, was recently named NEC (Northeast Conference) Co-Player of the month, an honor he has received in the past.
“In order to prepare for the first tournaments of the spring, I spent a lot of time practicing. We were lucky to be able to play Great River (the Pioneers home course) earlier this year while we didn’t have any snow around,” said Shubley. “I didn’t do much mental preparation for this season, I just went in knowing that there would be some rust and that I’d have to work through it.”
In the men’s second tournament of the spring break, the Pioneers placed fourth at the Lonnie Barton Invitational. Shubley tied for fourth after shooting 73, 74. Freshman Jake Sullivan shot 74, 78 to tie for twelfth, and Alex Manner shot 78, 75 tied for sixteenth place.
“The team’s goals for the spring season are always the same,” said Manner. “The biggest would be winning a conference championship, that’s a goal we all have in mind.”
The women’s team played the same course in the Lonnie Barton Invitational from March 5-6, placing third with 637, 61 over par, after two rounds. They also played in the LadyCat Invitational from March 8-9, finishing third.
The women’s team won their first NEC Championship in program history last year and hope to repeat that feat this year to go back-to-back.
“Our biggest team goal of the season is to win our conference tournament,” said senior captain Abby Hood. “However, it takes time and preparation to get there, so we also set smaller goals along the way. We do this by trying to post better scores overall as a team than the other teams in our conference in tournaments played outside of the conference.”
In the ladies’ first tournament of the season, Hood was the top Sacred Heart finisher, tying for fourth overall with consistent rounds of 77 and 76. Junior Chelsea Sedlar tied for tenth shooting an 80 and a 78.
Bermuda grass, often found on golf courses in the south, especially in Georgia and Florida, can be difficult to adjust to for non-Floridian golfers.
“I’m from New Hampshire, so I’m used to New England golf. Every time I go down to Florida it’s a little bit of an adjustment, but we were there for a couple of days before our tournaments. We had many hours of solid practicing, which helped a lot,” said Sedlar.
Sedlar has been near the top of the Player of the Year standings based on score average this year. She’s been on the NEC First Team both her freshman and sophomore years and hopes to again after this season.
“Individual title at the conference is always on the back of my mind. Freshman year I won it, last year I lost in a playoff (to former teammate and alumna Ellen Nighbor), but this year I’m going to go out fighting,” said Sedlar. “I’m just trying to go out there every tournament and shoot the lowest score I possibly can for me as well as the team.”
In the LadyCat Invitational, Sedlar led the Pioneers turning in rounds of 79 and 80 to place fifth. Senior Lauren Pelster placed twelfth shooting an 82 and an 83.
“We put ourselves in positions to compete and learned from the different situations in this tournament,” said head coach Matt McGreevy. “Our goals are to be more consistent and improve our short games so we are confident going into events.”
Both the men’s and women’s teams are continuing to prepare for this upcoming season and will especially work on improving their short game.
The women’s team will play at the Kingsmill Intercollegiate Tournament hosted by William and Mary College in Williamsburg, Va. on March 19-20. The men will travel to Farmville, Va. on March 30-31 to compete in The Manor Intercollegiate.