By Scott Jarosz ’21
To say that the Providence College club golf team has had a successful year would be an understatement. The team plays tournaments in both the fall and spring, and has consistently performed well as a group year-round.
The team asserted its presence right off the bat in the very first tournament. Towards the beginning of September 2018, the Friars participated in the NCAA Division III Bowdoin Invitational. In a field of 12 teams, the Friars placed at an impressive second place. In the first round of the tournament, the team shot a collective 309, with Rio Holzwarth ’22 leading the team with a low round of 76. The Friars had even more success in the second round, shooting 297 as a team, the lowest round for any team in the entire tournament. Captain Matt Carlson ’20 led the Friars with a 71, leading him to earn the #2 overall spot in the 62-player field.
The Bowdoin Invitational was far from the only highlight of the team’s fall season. Later in September, the team traveled to Agawam, Massachusetts to participate in the NCCGA New England Regional. The Friars brought both its “A” and “B” teams to the tournament and both performed exceptionally. The A team could not have performed much better, collectively shooting 748 over the course of two rounds, and beating second place University of Connecticut by 20 shots.
The Friars’ A team was led by Holzwarth who shot a 73 and 72 for a combined 145, good enough to earn the honor of being named medalist. The Friars’ B team also played well as a whole, scoring 782 over the course of two days, earning them the third-place spot. The low scorer for the B team was Alex Whitmore ’20, who shot a 75 and an 81 for a combined score of 156. The team’s performance at the New England Regional earned them the #5 spot in the NCCGA nationwide rankings.
The team’s quality golf carried over into the 2019 spring season as well. On April 7, the Friars shot a combined 755 over two rounds to win the spring New England Regional tournament and qualify for the National Championship. Leading the team was Ian Axford ’20, who shot two impressive rounds of 76 and 75 for an overall score of 151, earning him the title of medalist for the regional.
The National Championship took place at the Birck Boilermaker Golf Complex at Purdue University in Indiana. The tournament took place on April 27 and April 28, and the Friars placed third as a team in the entire nation. This top three finish in the tournament was a perfect finish for the team’s very successful season. When asked about how the team maintained its success throughout the year, Carlson said, “By having fun and constantly competing against each other and by holding everyone accountable.”
This mentality clearly paid off for the team as it had lots of success over the course of the year, winning multiple tournaments and consistently shooting well.