Snow cuts Big East tournament short

Courtney Scrib

In the world of collegiate sports, where basketball and football reign supreme, golf teams often find themselves at the bottom of the athletic hierarchy, struggling to gain any form of recognition. As nice as it would be say that Villanova acts as an exception to this rule, the truth of the matter is that throughout the year, the accomplishments of the men’s golf team went unnoticed. Despite the lack of glory and fame, however, the team’s eight members played their way to one of the most successful seasons in recent school history.

“It really shows a lot about the type of chemistry we have as a team,” sophomore Brock Bergman said, “as well as the fact that that we do it because we simply love to play golf.”

Last weekend the Wildcats traveled to South Bend, Ind. to see just how far their chemistry and love of the game would take them in the Big East Championship. It was Villanova’s first appearance in the tournament since 2000, yet the team, even with their lack of postseason experience, never felt out of place.

“Going into the tournament we definitely felt that we belonged there and that if we brought it all together at the right time, we could go out there and win,” Bergman said.

While Bergman and his teammates did expect tough competition at Notre Dame’s Warren Golf Course, they did not anticipate playing in terrible weather conditions. On the first (and what would ultimately be declared the last) day of tournament play, the six Big East teams fought through 30-degree weather, snowfall and 35 mile-per hour winds.

In spite of the inclement weather, the Wildcats still managed an impressive feat on the par-5 fifth hole. On the longest hole of the course, both Bergman and senior captain Charlie Nettleton shot birdies. Bergman, along with Jonathan Hewitt, ended the day with a score of 80, to finish ninth place in the field of 29 golfers. They missed qualifying for First Team All-Big East by just one shot. Meanwhile, Hewitt shot an 85 and tied for 24th place, just behind junior Colin Mahon, whose score of 84 tied him for 21st.

After completing 18 of the 54-hole course, Villanova stood in fifth place with a score of 329 but was determined to make up some ground in the next round of competition. Unfortunately for the ‘Cats and other teams vying for a conference championship title, the weather continued to worsen. On Sunday the Big East announced that the scores from Saturday’s first round would be final. For the second year in a row, Notre Dame was the crowned the champions after shooting 311.

“To say the least, we were very disappointed with that decision,” Bergman said. “Not only were we focused to play 54 holes going into the tournament, but we also felt it was unfair that each team didn’t have a legitimate shot at a Big East Championship.”

Once again the men’s golf team, who finished the season with two tournament victories, received the short end of a deal.