Men’s golf participates in final tournament, gets first look at Big East opponents

Amy Watkins

The men’s golf team competed along with 10 other Big East squads in its final tournament of the fall season last weekend. The Match Play Championship, in which Villanova lost two rounds, was hosted by DePaul University and was played at the Pine Needles Golf Course in Southern Pines, N.C.

The Wildcats got a first look at Big East competition through match play, which involves different rules and scoring than stroke play, a format followed in most tournaments.

In this battle of conference teams, each school was represented by six golfers.

The participants from Villanova, junior Brendan Kelly, sophomores Brian Colbert and Bret McGaughey and freshmen Steve Skurla, Pierce Dever and Joe Curley, each went head-to-head against an opponent from another team.  The winner of an individual matchup earned a point for his team, while a tie resulted in a half point being awarded to each side.

On Friday, the ninth-seeded Wildcats opened play against the No. 8 seed Georgetown.  Kelly, who played in the No. 1 position, defeated Georgetown sophomore Brian Dorfman, and Colbert, in the No. 2 position, beat junior Brandon Ellis.

Despite these efforts, Villanova lost the first round 4-2, because the rest of the Wildcats failed to win points.

Since they did not achieve the team score of 3.5 that was needed to advance, the ‘Cats entered the consolation bracket, taking on the No. 7 seed Marquette. Kelly and Colbert again led the team with a victory and a tie, respectively, but no one else in Villanova’s lineup could pull off a win. The Wildcats lost the final round 4.5-1.5.

After defeating Villanova, Georgetown went on to finish in fifth place, following up a loss to Notre Dame with a pair of wins over Cincinnati and South Florida.

Notre Dame was eventually knocked off by No. 2 seed Louisville, the overall champion of the tournament. Connecticut and DePaul took third and fourth place, respectively.

The Wildcats now look to improve against these Big East teams when conference play begins in the spring.