Golf Finishes Tied for Fifth at BIG East Championship


Courtesy of Villanova Athletics

Villanova tied for 5th at the Big East Championship

Zac Tipton, Staff Writer

When Villanova came into the Big East Championship at Riverton Pointe in South Carolina, it was ranked last in the Big East by

However, the Wildcats did not look like that team come Friday and Saturday.

Villanova was top three in the Big East after the first round and was still hanging around the top five after the second. However, due to harsh wind that affected most of the field, Villanova was not able to make a run and finished tied for fifth. Marquette took home the championship thanks to an eight-under second day.

Head coach James Wilkes was very impressed by this team the first two days.

“Looking at the fact that we were the last ranked team going into this tournament, we showed right from the first round that we were ready to play,” Wilkes said. “We were able to get ourselves in the mix with a solid first round and we were even in the final pairing going into that first round.”

Villanova shot a combined 25 over par over the three rounds, including 20 over par in the third round. They shot three over the first day and two over the second. Villanova was led by junior Peter Weaver, who finished tied for fifth for the tournament with a score of one over through three rounds, including a 69 on Friday. On Saturday, Weaver shot an even par 72, with a 76 on Sunday. He only finished four shots behind the winner, Marquette’s Bhoom Sima-Aree. Wilkes knew what he was going to get out of his player.

“Peter was there in this tournament, just like he has been in every tournament,” Wilkes said. “He knew he had a chance to contend for that title and he put himself in that position all week. He was a member of the All-Tournament team being top five.”

Jason Lohwater finished tied for 12th with a 54-hole score of four over. Ryan Pamer shot eight over. Vimal Alokam shot 15 over. Josh Lavely only played two of three days but shot 13 over.

Friday was a very good day for Villanova, with the Wildcats shooting three over. Weaver had his strong round of 69 to put himself in a tie for the lead after day one. Weaver had six birdies on the day, but had a costly double bogey on the sixth hole. Lohwater shot a 73, while Alokam shot a 74. Lohwater had 15 pars on the day, with his lone birdie being on the 15th hole. Alokam had a near perfect first 12 holes, shooting two under, but had four bogeys in the last seven to drop to 74. Pamer, who shot 75, had an even par back nine, but had a rough stretch of four holes on the front, where he went bogey, double bogey, birdie and bogey to finish with a three-over front nine.

On Saturday, Weaver shot an even par 72 and was the third best player on the team. It was Pamer’s time to shine in the second round, making five birdies opposed to two bogeys and no blow-up holes to give him a 69 and bring his score back to even par for the tourney. Lohwater also shot a one under at 71 with three birdies paired with two bogeys and no bad holes. Weaver is next, shooting a rough three-over performance on the front nine. Weaver made back-to-back-to-back birdies on 12, 13 and 14 to shoot even par. Alokam would shoot a 78. Wilkes was very impressed with his players, who might not have had the best year, but played their best when it mattered most.

“We were really happy to see guys who had put all that work in put it together at the highest level,” Wilkes said. “Vim, Josh and Jason all shot better than their season average, so they put together their best golf at the most important time of the year.”

Sunday was the day that really hurt every team. Wilkes wasn’t used to the weather.

“It was one of the windiest days I’ve ever seen in my career,” Wilkes said. “It felt like it was gusting at least 30 miles an hour at times. Balls were being blown on the green while players were putting.”

Many teams shot 15 over for the day or more. Villanova was one of those. Weaver shot a 76, despite getting three straight birdies on holes 2, 3 and 4. He made two doubles and fell out of contention for the Big East title. Lohwater also shot 76 with a different approach. He made a triple bogey on hole 6, but shot +1 the rest of the day to shoot his 76. Lavely had a very adventurous outing with three birdies, four bogeys, two double bogeys and an eagle, the only eagle by any Villanova member all weekend. Alokam shot 79, and Pamer shot an 81 with no birdies.

Villanova will now head into the offseason. However, the good news for Villanova is that it is getting Weaver back for another year. Wilkes is excited to have Weaver back for another season.

“He was able to break his own season scoring record,” Wilkes said. “He broke half the records in that record book that year. So, to have him coming back and make another run at all those records he broke is exciting.”

Weaver will now have a chance to set more records come next season and compete for the Big East crown. Villanova will let its current team finish out their years before getting on the recruiting track, where Wilkes states they will continue their trend of looking outside just the region of the Northeast for top tier players.

“We tend to recruit regionally,” Wilkes said. “But, if you look at the past three years and the guys coming in, you can see we have been reaching out to guys from the Midwest. We are literally touching all parts of the country for the next great Wildcats.”