Golf deals with elements in opener

John Whalon

Villanova’s golf team not only had to face many tough competitors in their first competition of the spring, the William and Mary Invitational, but they also had to face rough weather. With temperatures in the low 40s and moderate winds for the tournament, the Wildcats were still able to perform well, placing third out of 22 other schools.

The top player of the tournament for the ‘Cats was Junior Steve Arnold who shot one over par, a 72, on the day and finished in a tie for ninth place among the 113 other golfers. Jonathan Hewett, the senior captain of the team, scored a 73 which was good enough for 15th place overall. To help pull off the 73, Hewett was one of just four golfers on the day to report an eagle. Freshman Doug Stadler reported a score of 74 for the day to place him tied for 20th place. This was the third time this year that Villanova was able to card three players in the top 20 golfers of a tournament. The other two times this occurred this season was in the James Madison Invitational and The Tillinghast.

The ‘Cats overall team score was 295, which put them only two behind Maryland and just three behind the winner, Liberty. ‘Nova finished in a tie for first for par three averages with an average of 3.20 for the tournament. Although they placed third, the ‘Cats were able to finish in front of all other Big East teams in the tournament. St. John’s finished in a tie for 10th place while Rutgers finished 13th and Georgetown finished 20th out of 22 teams.

The William and Mary Invitational was the fifth time this season that the Wildcats went head-to-head against the Redstorm, and it was the first time that Villanova was able to overcome St. John’s and finish ahead of them. Villanova beats five Big East teams for head-to-head stroke average. The ‘Cats are looking to repeat last year’s success in their next tournament, the George Washington Invitational this weekend. Last year, the Wildcats finished first among 26 other teams in the competition.