Golf disappointed in 12th place finish at Patriot Invitational



Greg Welsh

Courtesy of Villanova University

The men’s golf team attended its third tournament of the fall season this week at Laurel Hill Golf Club in Lorton, Virginia. The 54-hole Patriot Intercollegiate took place over two days, as players from 21 schools competed to give their teams some early season momentum. For the Wildcats, expectations were high coming off a fifth place finish at the Doc Gimmler in Bethpage State Park, but they came home in the twelfth  spot. 

Senior captain Lucas Trim described this result as “the high note” of the season thus far. As is the case for most collegiate events, the first day of play consisted of two rounds for a total of 36 holes. With 21 teams out on the course and many holes to play, it proved to be a slow day out on the links. 

In the first round of the day, the ‘Cats got strong performances from juniors Andy Butler and Zach Egermayer, who each fired two over 73s. Trim, who shot a four-over 75 for the opening round, described Butler and Egermayer’s play as “much improved from their sophomore seasons.” The Wildcats’ scoring for the first round included a pair of seven-over 78s from freshman Connor Daly and Junior Andrew MacMillan. Taking the top four scores, the Wildcats ended up with a first round total of 299, putting them in 13th place.

After a short break, the teams got right back at it teeing off for the day’s second round in the afternoon. The Wildcats looked to move up the leaderboard, and Daly led in the second round with the team’s low round of the tournament, a two-under. 

“He has contributed to the team right away,” Trim said about Daly.

Daly’s 69 was joined by another strong round of one-over 72 by Egermayer, a five-over 76 by Butler, and another 78 by MacMillan to complete the Wildcats’ second round score of an 11-over 295. This score moved the Wildcats into a tie for twelfth as the long day finally came to a close. 

“The second round is definitely a mental grind,” Trim said of playing two rounds in one day. “The 10 plus hours of play is a long time to stay focused.” 

The Wildcats had one final chance to improve upon their position as they entered the third and final round the next day. Trim showed his leadership by posting the team’s best final round score of 73, one better then Daly’s 74. MacMillan improved upon his opening day 78’s with a final found 75, while Egermayer finished his tournament with a five over par 76. 

Trim praised MacMillan’s solid play saying that he picked up where he left off last spring. The Wildcats remained remarkably consistent with a final round total of 298 (14 over) to finish the tournament tied for twelfth with a total of 892 (40 over). Egermayer and Daly were the top individual finishers for Villanova, each finishing with an eight-over 221, good for a tie for 29. Old Dominion and Eastern Kentucky were clearly the class of the field, as the two schools separated from the pack and battled to the end. Old Dominion’s final round total of a three-over 281 for was enough to edge the Colonels by two strokes. 

For Villanova, the twelfth  place finish was not as strong a showing as they were hoping. 

“Overall, the team did not play how we were hoping,” Trim admits. “We took a bit of a step back from Bethpage.” 

The captain does, however, remain optimistic about the rest of the season, citing the upcoming time off as a chance to get back on track. Addressing ongoing goals, Trim stressed the weekly improvement and winning the City 6 Championship, a tournament of Philadelphia’s schools at the end of the fall season.

“I know [Coach Wilkes] has mentioned the City 6 to me a couple of times,” Trim remarked. “He definitely would love to have the bragging rights.”

Looking ahead to the spring season, Trim realizes that the team’s ultimate goal is success in the Big East Tournament, where they will look to improve on last year’s disappointing eigth place finish. 

There are many tournaments to play before then, however, including the Bank of Tennessee Intercollegiate on Oct. 14.