Golf closes fall season with high hopes

As the fall season sits in the rearview for the Oswego State golf team and with the spring season in the distance, head coach Mike Howard and the rest of the team is happy with how they performed this fall.

Averaging a fourth place finish in their six matches and finishing in the top half in four of those six matches, Howard feels the team reached its goals.

“We’ve had a couple good years here and that’s kind of the expectation,” Howard said. “Right now [our goal] is to finish in the top half of all of our events and be in contention for winning championships.”

Oswego State won its annual home fall invitational on Sept. 21 at the Oswego Country Club, beating out SUNY Potsdam by one stroke and SUNY Delhi by four strokes to claim their second win in the last three seasons at their own fall invite. Senior leaders Dan North and Tyler Wurzer led the way for the Lakers this year and thought it was a successful fall season as a group and individually.

“I was happy that we won our home invitational,” North said. “That was something I really wanted to do and I know the guys wanted to do, as well. As long as we finish in the top half, we are usually pretty pleased.”

“I was hitting a lot of fairways,” Wurzer said. “It’s easier to score when you’re in the fairways rather than playing out of the trees, just keeping it straight.”

Howard reflected on the team’s skill set and thought as a group they all were able to consistently have good tee shots, helping them set up easier shots and limited balls in the rough to cut down their scores.

“I think overall as a group, not just [North and Wurzer], we had better ball strikers,” Howard said. “Kids had real good skill off the tee and the fairways so I think we have been better there than maybe previous years.”

The team feels they enjoyed the most success at the Eastern College Athletic Conference Mid-Atlantic Championship, despite not finishing in first. On day two of the tournament, Oswego State put up a team score of 300, which helped it move up the leaderboard as it finished fourth out of 12 teams.

“I would definitely say that the ECAC 300 second day is a quality score,” Howard said. “We haven’t been that low in a competition in probably, I’m guessing, 10 years.”

North, who will graduate at the end of this semester, finished his collegiate golf career very strong. He led the team as he shot a 78 at their own tournament back in September. He also put up his best scores of the year at the ECAC Mid-Atlantic Championships with a 77 on day one and 72 on day two.

“Toward the end of the season I think my putting was really on, that helped shoot the even par,” North said. “My putting was fantastic. I didn’t really hit many greens but I was getting up and down from everywhere and that’s because I was making five-foot [putts] and then par putts and then to finish with an eagle on the 15-footer putt [at the ECACs], so that showed my putting was locked in at the end of the year.”

The team resumes its season in the spring on March 30 in the Hershey Cup at the Hershey Country Club in Pennsylvania.