Men’s golf hopes confidence, hard work will produce results

Tyler Fisher

As the spring season comes into full swing, the Robert Morris men’s golf team looks to compete for a postseason championship in 2017.

In the Northeast Conference preseason coaches poll, Robert Morris was voted third, receiving one first place vote. It sits behind Bryant and the defending champions Wagner, respectively.

Despite that, head coach Jerry Stone has a simple goal for the spring season. “I want my guys to improve to the point to where the team is good enough to compete for a championship,” he said.

Sophomore Daniel Franco Saad said he plans to work hard to perform at his “best level.”

The first event of the year will help the team in this process. The Colonials play the Lonnie Barton Invitational at the site of the conference championship, LPGA International.

The players leave Saturday for their spring break trip, which will provide a great start to the season. Captain Mike McMorrow said this trip is crucial for getting back into the swing of things, in addition to gaining an advantage over the rest of the conference.

“It gives us an opportunity to get a feel for the course,” McMorrow said. “Playing on bermuda grass in Florida is a lot different than anything we’re used to up north. No one on our team has played the Hills Course at LPGA before, and so we can get a feel for how difficult it is going to be and also make any necessary adjustments before we come back for the conference championship.”

The Colonials play in three other events this spring, including a home event at Montour Heights Country Club. This will be the first event they have hosted in three years.

“This event will provide a great opportunity for the entire team to play,” said sophomore Bryce Gorrell. “It will be neat to see how other teams stack up against us on our own course, which should provide a great advantage.”

That tournament will be April 10-11, and there is no fee for admission.

The other events this spring are the Townson Spring Invitational and the Lehigh Valley Collegiate Invitation.

All of the events in the spring will provide Robert Morris with a great opportunity to gain experience, something Stone says it lacks. The only senior on the team is McMorrow.

While RMU lacks experience, Stone made it clear that it does not lack ability.

Two players are on pace for some of the lowest season scoring averages in school history: freshman Max Palmer (73.5) and Saad (73.6). If they are able to continue their strong play through the spring, the team will have a great chance at competing for an NEC title.

The Colonials were recently reminded about who they are chasing in the record books. C.G. Mercatoris was inducted into the Hall of Fame Feb. 24, showing the guys what they should aspire for.

“Coach brought him to practice so the team could meet him,” said Palmer. “He is a great reminder to us that we should always be striving to get better.”