Providence College Investigates

by npatano


Professional Sports


Who Will Win the 2022 Masters

Joe Quirk ’23

Sports Staff

Justin Thomas

One of the world’s most famous and prestigious sporting events returns to Augusta National Golf Club in beautiful Augusta, GA this weekend. 

Much of the talk surrounding the Masters right now is speculation about whether all-time great golfer Tiger Woods will be making his comeback to professional golf after a devastating car crash last year. While it would be great to see Woods play again, especially at Augusta National, where he has had so many great moments, more needs to be said about the rest of the incredibly talented field of golfers competing for the illustrious green jacket.

While anything can happen at the Masters, it would be incredibly wise to pick Justin Thomas as an early favorite to win. 

Thomas, currently ranked No. 7 in the world, is a 28-year-old American golfer who has spent time ranked No. 1 globally before. The young phenom, who joined the PGA tour in 2015, has been an excellent and consistent golfer for most of his career. 

While he does not have the drive power of a Bryson DeChambeau or the short game finesse of Woods, his consistent excellence across the course has helped him to fall no further than No. 8 worldwide since 2019, when he fell to No. 10. Most of that time, Thomas sat around No. 3 or No. 4 globally. 

While in the past, a proper criticism for Thomas, especially going into a major as large as the Masters, would have been that he was too young or too inexperienced. Thomas has now been on the tour for seven years and has a major title to his name.

Many may call his only major championship win, the 2017 PGA Championship, a red flag. With the amount of time he has spent top 10 worldwide, along with seven years on the tour, one would expect him to have more major titles. But people forget, as recently as 2020, Thomas finished No. 4 at the Masters. 

He has proven that he can win, unlike many other golfers, such as Rickie Fowler. A fan favorite and tremendous golfer himself, Fowler has been on the tour since 2009 and has yet to capture a major, despite coming in second for the Masters in 2018. Fowler failed to qualify for this year’s Masters, unlike Thomas who currently is tied with Cameron Smith for the second-best odds to win the whole thing. 

Thomas is young, talented, and experienced. He is playing his best golf and has played well in this competition recently. If anyone is going to win at Augusta this year, bet on Thomas.

 

Justin Bishop ’24

Sports Staff

Colin Morikawa

The 2022 Masters tournament winner will be none other than Colin Morikawa. 

As of Sunday, April 3, the current  No. 3 ranked golfer in the world is poised to have a shot at the legendary green jacket. This year, Morikawa has had four top-20 finishes in seven starts this year, three of which were top-10 finishes including a runner-up finish at the Genesis Invitational in Los Angeles this past February. 

Morikawa finished tied for No. 18 in last year’s tournament and was eight shots off the lead by the time the tournament wrapped up. He is No. 4 on the Professional Golfers Association’s Tour in average score, shooting an impressive 68.5 for each round of golf. 

Other notable statistics for Morikawa include ranking top-10 in driving accuracy, greens in regulation, putts per hole, and birdies per round. For a player to rank in the top 10 in all these categories at the same time is nothing to overlook as most players can dominate in one or two categories, but to be dominant in all of them shows how well rounded his game is. 

Morikawa is familiar with the biggest stages in golf, called the majors (The Masters, the U.S Open, the British Open, and the PGA Championship), as he has won two of them, the British Open and the PGA Championship, only two years after turning pro. Morikawa’s rapid success made him a player that people come out to watch at only 25 years old, where the average age on tour is 35 and most never even win one major championship. 

Morikawa also has a clutch factor about his game where he feeds off the fans’ energy. 

He especially loves being in the final pairing on Sundays because that is the grouping where the crowd gathers the most. This year, there will be a huge crowd to make up for last year’s absence. 

Morikawa has what it takes to win statistically and has won many times before on tour, along with having two of the four majors, and has set himself up down the road to win the career Grand Slam (winning each of the four majors at least once in one’s career). 

Entering the tournament with the fourth best odds at +1600 to win, Colin Morikawa is poised to have Hidekei Matsuyama, the 2021 Masters winner, help him put on the coveted green jacket this Sunday in true Masters tradition.

Club Golf Competes at National Level

by The Cowl Editor


Friar Sports


By Scott Jarosz ’21

Sports Staff

providence college club golf team nationals
Photo Courtesy of PC Club Golf

The Providence College club golf team recently journeyed southwest to WinStar World Casino & Resort in the small town of Thackerville, OK to take part in the National Collegiate Club Golf Association Fall 2019 National Championship. According to the NCCGA website, this marked the first time the tournament was held in Oklahoma. 

This fall’s national championship consisted of 28 club golf teams representing schools from across the entire country who had qualified to compete. The two teams that qualified automatically for the event were Clemson University and Xavier University, as they had won the Spring 2019 National Championship and National Invitational respectively. 

PC qualified for participation in the Fall 2019 National Championship by winning the NCCGA New England Regional back in October. PC beat out second place University of New Hampshire, who also qualified for the National Championship, by a whopping 39 strokes in the regional.

The Fall 2019 National Championship consisted of two rounds that were played over the course of two days for a total of 36 holes of stroke play. Team scores for each round were calculated as a sum of the five best scores out of the eight players who competed per team. The team with the lowest total score after the two rounds would be declared the winner. 

Players arrived in Oklahoma on Friday, November 15, and began play the next day. PC came out of the gates in round one playing excellent golf. In round one, the team posted a score of 372, which tied PC with the University of Florida at fourth place out of 27 competing teams. 

The low scorer for PC on day one was Dave Carey ’22 who shot an outstanding 72. Not only did Carey shoot the team’s lowest score for this round, but he also tied for third place out of 226 golfers in the individual leaderboard after round one.

PC held its own in round two of the championship, shooting a combined 378, which was just six shots higher than its previous round. The low scorer for PC in the second round was Rio Holzwarth ’22 who shot a 72, followed by Carey who shot a 75. PC ultimately finished in ninth place, 17 shots behind Clemson University, the champion of the NCCGA Fall 2019 National Championship. 

The low scorer of the tournament for the Friars was Carey, who posted rounds of 72 and 75 for a combined 147. With this score, Carey finished tied for 19th place out of 226 individual golfers. 

When asked what it was like to represent PC on a national level, Carey stated, “It was an honor to represent Providence College and play the game I love on a national level.” 

When asked what he focused on that allowed him to play so well in the tournament, Carey responded, “I really focused on staying strong mentally even after a bad shot. Coach Conley and my teammate Cole Manning ’20 helped me to stay positive and focused on the course, which greatly contributed to my success.”

Carey’s points of focus were clearly effective as he finished near the top of the leaderboard out of 226 golfers. Holzwarth followed Carey with a score of 149, and Alex Bassetto ’20 finished with a score of 151. 

Quality performances by all members of the PC club golf team led the team to finish ninth out of 27 competing schools in the National Championship.

Club Golf Competes at National Level

by The Cowl Editor


Friar Sports


By Scott Jarosz ’21

Sports Staff

providence college club golf team nationals
Photo Courtesy of PC Club Golf

The Providence College club golf team recently journeyed southwest to WinStar World Casino & Resort in the small town of Thackerville, OK to take part in the National Collegiate Club Golf Association Fall 2019 National Championship. According to the NCCGA website, this marked the first time the tournament was held in Oklahoma. 

This fall’s national championship consisted of 28 club golf teams representing schools from across the entire country who had qualified to compete. The two teams that qualified automatically for the event were Clemson University and Xavier University, as they had won the Spring 2019 National Championship and National Invitational respectively. 

PC qualified for participation in the Fall 2019 National Championship by winning the NCCGA New England Regional back in October. PC beat out second place University of New Hampshire, who also qualified for the National Championship, by a whopping 39 strokes in the regional.

The Fall 2019 National Championship consisted of two rounds that were played over the course of two days for a total of 36 holes of stroke play. Team scores for each round were calculated as a sum of the five best scores out of the eight players who competed per team. The team with the lowest total score after the two rounds would be declared the winner. 

Players arrived in Oklahoma on Friday, November 15, and began play the next day. PC came out of the gates in round one playing excellent golf. In round one, the team posted a score of 372, which tied PC with the University of Florida at fourth place out of 27 competing teams. 

The low scorer for PC on day one was Dave Carey ’22 who shot an outstanding 72. Not only did Carey shoot the team’s lowest score for this round, but he also tied for third place out of 226 golfers in the individual leaderboard after round one.

PC held its own in round two of the championship, shooting a combined 378, which was just six shots higher than its previous round. The low scorer for PC in the second round was Rio Holzwarth ’22 who shot a 72, followed by Carey who shot a 75. PC ultimately finished in ninth place, 17 shots behind Clemson University, the champion of the NCCGA Fall 2019 National Championship. 

The low scorer of the tournament for the Friars was Carey, who posted rounds of 72 and 75 for a combined 147. With this score, Carey finished tied for 19th place out of 226 individual golfers. 

When asked what it was like to represent PC on a national level, Carey stated, “It was an honor to represent Providence College and play the game I love on a national level.” 

When asked what he focused on that allowed him to play so well in the tournament, Carey responded, “I really focused on staying strong mentally even after a bad shot. Coach Conley and my teammate Cole Manning ’20 helped me to stay positive and focused on the course, which greatly contributed to my success.”

Carey’s points of focus were clearly effective as he finished near the top of the leaderboard out of 226 golfers. Holzwarth followed Carey with a score of 149, and Alex Bassetto ’20 finished with a score of 151. 

Quality performances by all members of the PC club golf team led the team to finish ninth out of 27 competing schools in the National Championship.

Club Golf Competes at National Tournament

by The Cowl Editor


Friar Sports


By Scott Jarosz ’21

Sports Staff

providence college club golf
Photo Courtesy of PC Club Golf

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.

Providence College Investigates

by The Cowl Editor


PCI


If PC Were to Bring Back a Varsity Sport, They Should Bring Back Golf

By Thomas Zinzarella ’21

Sports Staff

providence college golf team
Photo Courtesy of PC Golf

There are a lot of sports that Providence College could add, but the first one that comes to mind is a men’s and women’s golf team. Providence had a men’s golf team that was eliminated in 2002, which followed the removal of the men’s baseball team due to compliance with Title IX.

The men’s golf team dates back to 1932 when Waldo Martin coached the team. However, it was quickly dropped in 1935 due to a lack of interest from students. The men’s golf team was brought back by Joe Prisco ’49 who started the club golf team during his studies at the College in 1947. Prisco came back to PC as a business professor in 1953 and restarted the club golf program once again before it was elevated to the Division I level in 1960. Prior to Prisco retiring in 2012, he accumulated a 403-119-1 record while leading the team to eight NCAA Tournament appearances and 16 individuals to the NCAA Championship. Prisco also won two Big East Titles and eight NCAA Division I Coach of the Year awards during his 42-year coaching career at PC. Prisco would go on to coach the club team from 2002-2012.

The men’s team has a storied tradition that dates back to the 1930s. To put that into perspective, the men’s basketball and hockey teams’ inaugural seasons were in 1926. A lot of Title IX was not just about equal numbers of men’s to women’s sports, but it concerned the amount of scholarships that could be offered. Some Division I teams such as Boston College have as few as eight men’s players (six women) while other powerhouse schools such as the University of Texas at Austin have 12 players on the men’s team and nine on the women’s. According to nextgengolf.org, the University of Tulsa cut their golf team which is expected to save them $520,000 dollars.

Now, the College may have to pay more or may have to pay less but that’s a ballpark price.

Currently, the Friars in their club format hold a lot of talent on the roster. They compete with teams throughout the country in the National Collegiate Club Golf Association (NCCGA). Friars are the no. 1 team in New England and are ranked no. 49 in the country from the poll last Spring. Last May, the Friars competed for the National Championship in St. Louis. The Friars finished in 11th place out of 28 teams in the field. These 28 teams are some of the best in the country and the Friars finished higher than teams such as Florida State University, Arizona State University, Michigan State University, and Maryland University. From the undergraduate enrollment of each of these schools, they outnumber Providence College 4.5x to 1. For a school of 4,306 undergraduates, the Friars are competing with much larger schools. Why not try and take a dip into a sport where we have had success?

Patrick Reed Wins Masters

by The Cowl Editor


Professional Sports


By Joe Myko ’19

Sports Staff

patrick reed wins masters 2018
Photo Courtesy of Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Held on the weekend of April 5-8 at the Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia, this year’s Masters Tournament saw Patrick Reed pick up his first major championship title.

Beginning the competition as the world’s 24th ranked professional golfer meant Reed was not one of the first names backed for success in Augusta, making this somewhat of a surprise win. Born in San Antonio, Texas, Reed bested two of his fellow countrymen, Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler, to take home the glory with a spectacular one-shot win.

27-year-old Reed led the competition from the second round, besting Rory McIlroy by three shots overnight. Northern-Irishman McIlroy, who still has yet to win this competition, declined with two-over 74. Meanwhile, Reed showcased nerves of steel when he parred the last shot, shooting 71 and winning with 15 under. Ultimately though, Rickie Fowler bested Spieth to second-finishing with nine birdies within a 64.

Tiger Woods gave his best performance to one of the early rounds of the tournament, accumulating a three-under-par 69 for one-over 289 tying for 32nd overall. The 42-year-old has won the Masters on four previous occasions, the most recently in 2005. Woods has been on a sharp decline in his success since his last major win in 2008, which has been mainly catalyzed by a debilitating back problem which left him requiried spinal fusion surgery. An upbeat Woods was quoted by USA Today news seeming grateful to have even took part in the competition: “To just be out here competing again, if you had said that last year at this particular time I would have said you’re crazy,” he said.

Reed was quoted as saying that this win was all the more special due to it being held in such close proximity to where he attended college, at the University of Georgia.

However, upsets are not uncommon at this annual tournament, with Reed being the ninth first-time major title winner at the Masters from the last twelve events. Impressively also, all four of the major championship titles in professional golf currently belong to Americans, all of which are under 28.

The Masters, established in 1934, is one of the four major championship titles for professional golfers. However, it is distinguished from the others in that it has always been held at the same location; the private course in Augusta, Georgia, built in 1933.