ANNAPOLIS, MD — After finding itself in 13th place and 13 strokes
behind the leader following the opening round of the Navy Spring
Invitational, Navy put together a gutsy performance on Sunday,
battling both the links and the weather as the Mids finished fourth out
of 20 teams in its final regular-season competition of the year. Navy
turned in the second-lowest round of the day, a 19-over par 303 to
complete the 36-hole tournament with a 39-over par 607, just a stroke
out of third.
"I was proud of the way our team battled the adverse conditions today," said Navy head coach Pat Owen. "The Navy blue team really fought back and turned in a solid finish, while the gold team was able to hang in there and also get a top-10 finish.
"Overall I'm happy with the final results, especially considering the weather conditions we faced today, but we have a lot of work to do this week to prepare for the Patriot League Championship."
After playing Saturday's opening round in beautiful spring conditions with sunny skies and temperatures in the low 80s, mother nature had something else in mind for Sunday's final round. Temperatures never got out of the 40s, while the golfers were faced with wind gusts of 15 miles per hour and steady rainshowers throughout the day.
Penn was unfazed by the weather conditions, as the Quakers became the 19th different program to win the Navy Spring Invitational in its 33-year history. Penn turned in the day's lowest round with a 15-over par 299 to jump from fourth to first (294-299=593). The Quakers edged out second-place George Washington by four strokes. GW held a one-stroke advantage over Columbia and Georgetown heading into the final round, but carded a 22-over par 306 on Sunday to fall to second in the final standings (291-306=597). Columbia stumbled to third, barely holding off the host Midshipmen as the Lions posted a 30-over par 314 in the final round (292-314=606) to hold a one-stroke advantage over Navy.
Sophomore Drew Selby (Charlotte, N.C.) paved the way for the Mids, shooting a 1-over par 72 in the final round. He completed the tournament with a 4-over par 146 to place fourth. Meanwhile, sophomore David Hall (Huntersville, N.C.) jumped from 24th to 13th in the final standings with a 9-over par 151. Playing his final round on his home course, senior Peter Reilly (Merrimack, N.H.) finished 29th with an 11-over par 153. Two players who bounced back after tough opening rounds were rookie August Jonas (Jacksonville, Fla.) and senior team captain Tim Shield (Grosse Pointe Park, Mich.). Jonas began the day in 84th after recording a 9-over par 80 on Saturday, but pushed up to 53rd after registering a 6-over par 77 on Sunday. Shield, meanwhile, began the day in 99th after shooting a 12-over par 83. He produced a 6-over par 77 over the final 18 holes to place 73rd.
Navy's gold squad moved up a spot in the final rankings, as well, placing sixth with a 44-over par 612 (293-314). Anchoring the gold team was sophomore Chris House (Raleigh, N.C.), who placed just outside of the top 10 in 13th with a 9-over par 151 (73-78). After turning in a 1-over par 72 in the opening round, senior Collier Jones (Little Rock, Ark.) slipped back to 29th with a 10-over par 81 on Sunday (153). Rounding out the scoring for the Navy gold team were sophomore Bryce Keene (Bakersfield, Calif.) in 33rd (76-78=154), Tyler Kuhn (Prospect, Ky.) in 38th (77-78=155) and sophomore Bobby Keating (Garden City, N.Y.) in 90th (84-80=1640>
Led by freshmen Justin Knisely (West Chester, Pa.) and Colby Lederer's (Levittown, Pa.) 45th-place finish, the Navy white squad placed 16th out of 20 teams with a 63-over par 631 (305-326). Knisley and Lederer shot a two-round mark of 156 (+14), with Knisley toting an 8-over par 79 in the final round and Lederer posted a 10-over par 81. Fellow newcomer Brad Elder (Roanoke, Va.) placed 66th with a 17-over par 159, followed by Staton Pruitt (Columbia, S.C.) in 73rd (76-84=160) and Chris Reed (Springfield, Ohio) in 90th (77-87=164).
Navy also had three players who competed as individuals. Senior Matt Buss turned in a 3-over par 74 on Sunday to finish the tournament 13-over in 38th place, rookie Robert Zieser-Misenheimer (Myrtle Beach, S.C.) finished 108th with a 37-over par 179 and junior Pat Collins (Floral Park, N.Y.) placed 109th with a 41-over par 183.
Penn's Max Marsico began the day in 12th place, but carded the low round of the day with a 1-under par 70 to take medalist honors. George Washington's Marin Liu was a stroke back (144, +2) in second, followed by Penn's Scott Williams in third (145, +3) and Navy's Selby in fourth (146, +4). Four players tied for fifth with a 7-over par 149.
Navy will be back in action next Saturday and Sunday when it makes the trip to Lewisburg, Pa. to take part in the Patriot League Championship at the Bucknell University Golf Course. The Mids got a sneak peek at the competition, as five of the seven teams who will be participating in next week's Patriot League Golf Championship competed in this weekend's Navy Spring Invitational. Navy led the pack, while Colgate finished seventh (616, +48), Bucknell and Lafayette tied for eighth (617, +49) and Lehigh placed 15th (626, +58).