Coyne takes first place in Mercyhurst Invitational

Alex Geli
Sports Writer

“It was only a matter of time ‘til he won.”
Interim men’s golf coach Ron Weaver had the pleasure of watching his star junior, Robert Coyne play flawlessly throughout the weekend at the Mercyhurst invitational and finish atop the leaderboard. Not only did Coyne finish first overall out of more than 70 competitors, but Millersville’s group as a whole sure had something to gloat about: for the first time this season, the Marauders found themselves at the number one spot when the final put was sunk on Sunday.

Coyne placed first among 70 other competitors at Mercyhurst.

The scorecard read 294 strokes at the Downing Golf Course in Harborcreek, PA, which was just 3 strokes ahead of the Vulcans of California University of Pennsylvania – a name nearly as confusing as Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, a Major League Baseball team.
“We had a great win,” Weaver said. “It was fantastic. We beat those same teams that we lost to (in previous tournaments). That’s the beauty of it.”
Coyne lead Millersville’s cause with a four-under-par final score. Shooting a solid 69 in the first round, the junior, who has tallied his third top-10 finish in the fall season with his win over the weekend, continued his impressive play with a second-round score of 71. He bested the runner-up, Brian Burr, by a mere 4 strokes with his total stoke count of 140.
“He shined,” Weaver said about Coyne, who put up Millersville’s best male golf score since 2009. “Rob(ert) was knocking on the door to win.” Coyne could smell the trophy twice already this season, but, until now, only his nasal passages got the pleasure of what first place had to offer. At the Hal Hansen Invitational, he placed 6th out of 62 players. Then, at the Vulcan Invitational, just two weeks prior to his win in Harborcreek, he tied for 5th out of 88.
With Coyne at the helm, his teammates were happy to play follow the leader. Newcomer Kevin Davis scored a total of 148, adhering himself to the 9th spot of the tournament. His second-round 72 certainly showed he was deserving of his top-10 performance.
After shooting a two-over-par in the second round, junior Chris Fieger landed himself in the 17th spot with a 150. Sophomores Matt Lutz finished in 26th with an 8-over-par and Conor Gilbert rounded out Millersville’s winning golfers at the 42nd spot after shooting a 12-over-par.
Spotlighting every Marauder’s success on the course, Weaver said, “The team fought real hard.” Even through the windy conditions, Weaver’s golfers came out on top – just at the right time, too.
With the PSAC championships next week, Coyne and his gang will head home to host the tournament in Hershey, PA with a winning mindset.
“Now they know they can beat the other teams,” interim coach Weaver said. “We just gotta play to our potential.”
Unfortunately, though, for the fifth time this season, Millersville will head out on the course without their leader and head coach, Scott Vandegrift, who has been out on medical leave throughout the fall. His temporary loss will surely act as an impetus for a purposeful two days of play next weekend – just as it did at the Mercyhurst Invitational on Saturday and Sunday.
“This victory was in his honor, no questions asked,” Weaver, a life-long buddy of Vandegrift, said. “He was the first person we called. He was almost speechless.”