Villanova Finishes Last at Robert Kepler Intercollegiate


Courtesy of Villanova Athletics

Villanova finished 17th of 17 at the Robert Kepler Intercollegiate.

Zac Tipton, Staff Writer

In the final regular season tournament of the year for Villanova golf, the ‘Cats were unable to continue their momentum and finished 17th out of 17 teams in Columbus at the Robert Kepler Intercollegiate Tournament. Villanova scored a total of 65 over par, including 22 over on the last round. Villanova was led by Junior Peter Weaver, who shot +8 through three rounds and finished tied for 17th in the tournament. The tournament was played on the Scarlet Course at Ohio State University and was won by the Ohio State Buckeyes with an incredible team score of +2 over the three days.

Despite the poor result, head coach James Wilkes believes this could be a positive tournament for Villanova.

“We are certainly going to look at it as a positive as a wake-up call,” Wilkes said. “We can say clearly, this week shows us that we are not just going to show up and be guaranteed anything.”

The Wildcats came into this tournament having won each of their last two at the Golden Horseshoe Intercollegiate and Wildcat Invitational. They started out with a decent first round, despite senior Luke Alexander withdrawing from the first round due to a lingering injury.

“We had been told we were going to play up to 36 holes that day,” Wilkes said. “He just didn’t feel like he was going to be able to play both rounds. So, when it really started bothering him, he decided to not continue that round in order to play the last two rounds, which he did.”

 Villanova shot +19 over as a team and got in 14th place. Weaver shot an incredible one under par to put himself near the top of the leaderboard at T7. Weaver started with back-to-back bogeys on the first two holes and another bogey on hole five, however a birdie on four and seven and a 2-birdie bogey-free back nine gave him the score of -1. Graduate student Jason Lohwater shot a +2 74, freshman Ryan Pamer shot a 77 and sophomore Vimal Alokam shot an 82. 

The second round was the worst for the Wildcats, as they had a team score of 308 or +24. It might have to do with the round being cut midway through due to darkness, as all teams were forced to pack up on the back nine and play the rest of the round early on Saturday morning. Weaver led the Wildcats once again with a score of +2, putting himself in a really good position overall inside the top 15. Despite playing the last 12 holes -1, Weaver made an unfortunate double bogey on the 15th. The rest of the team struggled, however, as none broke 75, Lohwater shooting a 76, Alokam a 79, Pamer an 80 and Alexander an 83. 

The third round was also cut short due to darkness, but Villanova was able to play most of its holes on Saturday, while only having to finish a couple on Sunday. It was “extremely windy,” according to Wilkes. The team shot +22 on the day. Pamer was the leader for Villanova this round with a nice bounce back +2 73. Pamer played the front nine even par, with his lone blemish coming with a double bogey on the 11th hole. Weaver was unable to keep up his pace on the last day shooting 77, but luckily the rest of the field struggled too and kept Weaver at T17. Weaver played incredible golf in the third round, but made a costly triple bogey on his first hole due to getting stuck in a fairway bunker. He would have finished in the top ten without that mistake.

“We did see he started with that triple bogey, but we did not need to talk to him at all,” Wilkes said. “That’s one of the reasons he is a legend of Villanova golf, he can battle through adversity. Clearly, after that, he played pretty solid.”

 Alokam and Alexander both shot 78, while Lohwater shot an 80. 

The Wildcats will have to get this bad tournament out of their minds quickly as they head to Hardeeville, South Carolina for the Big East Championships, which begin on Friday, April 28th.

“I don’t think this is going to be a lingering bad taste,” Wilkes said. “The guys will be focused on the Big East when we get down to Riverton.”

The tournament will be hosted at Riverton Pointe Golf and Country Club, which is the first time this event has been hosted at this course. Villanova will go in as the sixth ranked team in the Big East behind Marquette, St. Johns, UConn, Seton Hall and Butler. It finished eighth at this event last year.  Creighton, Georgetown, Xavier and DePaul will also be playing.