Over the weekend, the Millersville Men’s Golf team competed the Vulcan Invitational after the girls were thwarted by mother nature at the Cedarbrook Golf Course. After a four-hour drive, Millersville shot a three-days’ worth 900. Sounds like a lot doesn’t it? Well, that wasn’t necessarily the case – at least the first two rounds – as they landed in a tie for 10th place out of 16 teams.
Thanks to juniors Robert Coyne and Chris Fieger’s solid even-par 71 in the first round, Millersville was looking good at the #5 spot. Coyne, who continued his stellar play on Saturday, shot a 3-under-par 68. Unfortunately, his team didn’t follow his lead; his co-players built up the Marauder’s score to a total of 294 strokes in the second round. Coyne couldn’t repel the negative force as he was magnetized by his fellow squad mates’ trend of poor scores – including sophomore Conor Gilbert’s 6-over-par 78 – with a 5-over-par 77.
With a third-worst 319 total in the last and most crucial day of the Invitational, they dropped down the leaderboard even further.
“It was a tough day,” interim coach Ron Weaver said about Millersville’s rough third round of play which was the reasoning behind their digressive shift from 5th to 10th in the two days.
So why the decreasing scores throughout the weekend? Lack of sleep, presumably? Weaver, who heard snoring the whole way down to Kutztown, thinks not.
“I do work and they sleep,” Weaver said about their lengthy trip, so in that department, “there’s nothing to worry about,” he said. Actually, he’s all for his players getting some beauty rest in before their big three days, because, well, they’re pretty hectic right from the get-go.
The interim coach laid out the schedule that the groggy players, after walking their final steps off the bus, had in store:
After a four-hour ride, the first day consists of playing a practice round on one of the two courses. Then, more preparing for the next day is in order.
“We do the same thing as an exam,” Weaver said. “We make notes, make a game plan,” he said, acknowledging the importance of getting his club ready, “It’s a pretty big day.”
Besides the x’s and o’s, Weaver lets his team get hyped mentally.
“You know they’re going to compete and have fun,” he said, so “I don’t have to do much to get them excited.”
On Saturday, the golfers put all of the complaints about two and three-a-days to eternal slumber as they go out and play a 19 1/2-hour, 36-hole day of golf in their first and second rounds of the tournament. Don’t worry, there’s no need for you to rush to your local eye doctor – you read that correctly. Nearly 20 hours later, Weaver’s group of golfers could finally lay their clubs down, but not for long.
Saturday was followed by another 18 holes on Sunday. If you did your math right, that comes out to 54 holes in two days. No wonder their four-hour nap wasn’t a problem for the interim coach, for the Marauders had a heck-of-a lot of standing, swinging, walking and putting to do in the next 46 hours.
“It’s not easy to do,” Weaver said, patting his troops on the back and nudging them towards the bus for another catnap until they arrive back home at Millersville.
Looking at the positives, Weaver highlighted two players that have been improving throughout the season, Coyne and Gilbert.
“He’s had two top-ten finishes,” the interim coach said about his star junior. “He’s currently playing the best.”
Coming into the Vulcan Invitational this past weekend, though, Gilbert was first on the team in strokes per round with 74.3 compared to Coyne’s 75.7. With another junior in the mix, Fieger, with 76.5, the Marauders have more than a few highlights to hold their heads up about.
“Our scores are consistently lowering,” Weaver said. “Overall, the team’s showing improvement.”
We will see how much they improve in two weeks at the Mercyhurst Invitational on October 13-14 as they have an extra week of much-needed rest after their sleep-deprived weekend at Belle Vernon, PA.