Fourteen golfers were focused on ending the season on a positive note when the Springfield College men’s golf team headed to Cape Cod this past weekend to compete in the New England Championships on The Captains Course in Brewster, Mass. Clinching a berth to the Division III tournament earlier this month, the Pride had a lot to show this past weekend.
The New England Intercollegiate Golf Association (NEIGA) has been in existence since 1934. It is considered to be the oldest and largest golf tournament, including 47 member colleges and universities in New England and New York. It is unique in that Divisions I, II and III compete together. Normally a two-day event, the Championship was cut short because of Hurricane Sandy.
The tournament took place on two different courses, which meant that there was no overall champion, but rather a champion in each division. The Pride finished fifth among Division III schools with a 322 score (34-over par) and a twelfth-place finish. UMass Dartmouth took first.
A total of 171 golfers competed in the tournament. The top finisher for Springfield was senior Kyle DiFranco. DiFranco tied for 18th among individuals with a 78, which was six-over par.
“I felt that I performed well considering how windy it was on the course. I let a couple shots get away from me at the end. But overall I thought I did OK,” said DiFranco.
Both grad student Tom Sangeloty and senior Tim Vallaro totaled 81 (nine-over), tying for 51st. Sophomore Adam Ziewacz had an 82, tying for 62nd place and senior Ryne McEvoy came in at 83, tying for 78th.
“Playing in 35-plus mph wind on a normally difficult course and scoring that well as a team could be described as a solid closing cap to our already successful year,” said Sangeloty.
“We played well despite the windy and rainy conditions and showed some grit having our entire team come in with relatively good scores and placing in the top half of all golfers invited. I think we will go on to work hard and get ready to compete in the spring and then at nationals next May,” said Ziewacz.
The overall highlight of the weekend came in the hands of Coach Joe Eadie. Now in his 19th season as the head coach for the Pride, Eadie was presented with the McCullough Award as the “Coaches Honoree.”
“I think coach Eadie’s award was well-earned and well-deserved,” said Sangeloty. “To culminate his efforts with a win at the NECC tournament to get a bid to Nationals, along with strong finishes in the closing tournaments, it is only fitting that his efforts be recognized in such a prestigious way.”
As the Pride finished the season strong, they now look forward to the spring season where they will prepare for May when they will compete in the Division III men’s golf tournament.
The tournament will be held in Destin, Fla. on May 14-17, 2013.