Men’s Golf | Hoyas Exceed Expectations

GUHOYAS Sophomore Sam Madsen took 29th individually at the NCAA regional golf tournament in Nashville, Tenn.

GUHOYAS
Sophomore Sam Madsen took 29th individually at the NCAA regional golf tournament in Nashville, Tenn.

The Georgetown men’s golf team finished its season at the NCAA regionals in Nashville, Tenn., this week. Despite a solid showing on its second and third days, Georgetown finished 12th, outside the top five spots necessary to advance, and will head home at the tournament’s conclusion. The Hoyas finished with an overall team score of 877, 13 over par for the tournament.

Georgetown qualified by winning the Big East championship tournament between April 30 and May 3 at Callawassie Island in South Carolina. It won that competition comfortably, beating second-placed Xavier by 27 strokes.

The team was not expected to take first, but it capitalized on a steak of consistently good play, especially in terms of putting.

“We were waiting the whole spring season for all of us to put together rounds at the same time. We’d have tournaments where two guys would play well, and the next one two other guys would; stuff like that,” sophomore Sam Madsen said. “We were just waiting for the whole team to come together and have a good tournament collectively. We know how good we are when that does happen. Before the tournament, we just said, ‘Why not us? Someone’s got to do it.’”

In Nashville, the team’s expectations took on a more realistic tone. The Hoyas had to finish in the top five of 13 teams at the NCAA Regionals, which is no small feat. Even after an improved showing on the second and third days, the Hoyas came up short. Before the final round, Madsen, who finished at two under par and took 29th individually, talked about the team’s outlook.

“We would have to go real low … to get in the top five. When we put this whole thing in perspective, if we just improve … like we did [in the second round], that’s really an accomplishment for us,” Madsen said.

That sentiment was echoed by Head Coach Thomas Hunter.

“This is probably the most realistic group of guys I’ve coached at Georgetown. They’ve done a heck of a job understanding that a golf season is like a marathon, and you’re going to have your ups and downs. You heard [Madsen] talk about how we gelled together down at the Big East, and that’s really what happened; we finally played three rounds of golf, and all five guys played really nice rounds,” Hunter said with regard to the team and how well it performed under the pressure of the playoffs.

“So now what happens is that you get sent to these NCAA regionals, and that’s really a step in the land beyond in terms of how the Georgetown golf program is set up. This is an opportunity for us to be around people who aspire to be on the PGA Tour.”

Instead of wasting the occasion and opportunity, however, the Hoyas enjoyed the successful season. They travelled to Nashville looking to improve upon each round’s score. They wanted to play their best and as the season winds to a close, the prospects for next year look bright with the entire lineup returning.

“We’re really young; we’ve got two sophomores and three freshmen in the lineup,” Hunter said.

However, Hunter was wary of expectations creating a burden for the next season. He explained the mentality he wanted the team to have going into next year in light of its triumphs this past season.

“When you have success, you worry about the pressure that success brings next year. This team is very realistic, and they know that next year, it starts all over again. They know the grind, and it’s not easy to win,” Hunter said. “I want to make sure that they enjoy every moment that they’re having right now. And then, when they come back in the fall to start the [2016-17] year, that they just go back to basics, playing good golf and trying to improve every time they play.”

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