On the second day of the Goldey-Beacom Invitational, the Marauders improved by 16 strokes over their first round score.
This was the sign that head coach Scott Vandegrift was looking for that his team was moving in the right direction.
The Millersville golf team finished ninth in the Camp Lejeune Invitational and fourth in the Goldey-Beacom Invitational, the first two tournaments of their spring schedule.
Freshman Shane Henry led the Marauders with a 2-over-par 224. He placed 22nd in his first time playing this course.
Vandegrift hoped for a better finish, but thought the team played well overall.
“When you don’t win you’re never happy,” Vandegrift said. “But, on the other hand, the team played about how I expected.”
The team’s captain, senior Darryn DeShong, finished tied for 42nd place. He struggled a bit, and Vandegrift said he thought DeShong would have played better.
At the Goldey-Beacom Invitational, DeShong bounced back and led the Marauders with a 7-over-par 151, which gave him a sixth-place finish out of 78 golfers.
On day one, the field faced poor conditions. Not only did they play through heavy winds, but the course was not in good shape, which Vandegrift felt played against the strengths of his team. He thought the inferior greens, specifically, led to Henry’s 18-over-par 162 and his because of his putting ability. They were the polar opposite of the fast greens the Marauders play at their home course at Crossgates Country Club.
After the first round of the two-day tournament, the Marauders were within range of being on top of the leaderboard but they stumbled down the stretch and sat in third place at the end of the day, down three strokes.
Vandegrift told the team they could have easily been winning and that, although they were only down three strokes, they could not afford to give anything away.
“When you get someone, you just grind them into the ground,” Vandegrift said.
The rest of the pack pulled away on day two. The Marauders’ 16-stroke improvement as a team gave them confidence, but improved weather led to lower scores for every team in the tournament.
The Marauders finished 13 strokes behind Adelphi University, who won the tournament.
Millersville will travel to Indiana, Pa. on April 13-14 for their next tournament, the IUP-Cecil Spadafora Invitational. According to Vandegrift, winning this tournament would be a huge milestone for Millersville golf.
They will follow this up with the Navy Invitational in Annapolis, MD at the Naval Academy Golf Club. Vandegrift hopes for a top-5 finish in both tournaments.
He thinks this is a possibility, despite playing against Division I competition, because the course plays to their strengths.