By Braedan Shea
As the first month of the academic school year for Springfield College comes to a close, it now becomes a time where students are finding their rhythm. Whether that is becoming familiar with their schedules, learning the ins-and-outs of the campus; it’s clear students are really just getting back into the swing of things.
For the Pride golf team, they are also getting back into the swing of things – literally.
In its opening tournament of the season, Springfield got off to a fast start, placing 12th out of 24 in the Dukes Nelson Invitational held at Ralph Myhre Golf Club in Middlebury, VT on Sept. 10-11. The Pride were led by senior Corey Roya, who turned in back-to-back rounds of 76 over the two-day tournament and placed 28th overall individually.
For his amazing performance in the competition, where he had 20 pars and three birdies over the course of his 36 holes, Roya was recognized as the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) Men’s Golfer of the Week.
The following week, Roya was joined by fellow senior teammate, Nicholas DeMaio, in the naming of the MASCAC Men’s Golfer of the Week recognition. DeMaio had a great showing at the Williams Invitational held at Taconic Golf Club in Williamstown, Mass., as he finished tied for 15th individually. Over the course of his two rounds, DeMaio had 21 pars and four birdies en route to his two-day total of 149 strokes. He opened the tournament with a 74 before adding a 75 on Sunday, helping Springfield finish 14th of 18.
After the two strong performances opening up the season, morale is high for the team. “I’m feeling pretty confident in our team right now,” Roya said. “We have put up a couple good numbers so far in tournament play, and hopefully we can continue that trend.”
In the final invitational before heading off to the MASCAC Championships next week, the streak of Pride members being named as the Men’s Golfer of the Week was pushed to three, as another senior, Aiden McBride, achieved the honor after his performance in the Bowdoin Invitational held at Brunswick Golf Club in ME.
Finishing tied for 26th overall as he turned in 18 pars and four birdies for an overall score of 157, McBrides weekend was highlighted by his round on Sunday, when he delivered a 74, which was the second best score in the second day of the tournament.
It is clear that this year’s golf roster is one of the best in recent memory; and Roya believes that the depth is one of the biggest factors as to why. “I believe this is a deeper team than we’ve had the last couple years,” Roya said. “We have a bigger roster than ever this year with a lot of talent, and hopefully we can make some noise come tournament play.”
Getting off to a good start is not only good for personal and team confidence, but it also has significance for Roya. “This season is very important to me, as it’s my last,” Roya said. “I want to give it my all – and have a chance to play in the national tournament.”
The MASCAC Championships take place later this week, and are held at Shennecossett Golf Course in Groton, Conn. The Pride look to dethrone Salem State to get their first tournament championship since the 2019 campaign. Based upon how well the team and its members do, they may have a chance at getting to participate in the New England Intercollegiate Golf Association (NEIGA) Championships held on Oct. 15-16.
Although they don’t want to get too far ahead of themselves, the team does have the championship tournaments in sight.
“I’m really looking forward to our conference championship coming up this week,” Roya said. “We have a really solid chance to win and get a bid to play at nationals, so the team and I are really looking forward to that.”
Photo Courtesy Springfield College