Rohanna, Nittany Lions Win Again at Penn State's Rutherford Intercollegiate
April 20, 2008
State College, Pa. - Another highlight. Another win. Another milestone.
Penn State senior Robert Rohanna (Waynesburg, Pa.) carded a final-round 76 to win the 32nd annual Rutherford Intercollegiate Sunday. His win - the fifth of his collegiate career - ties 1996 grad Dirk Ayers for the most individual titles by a Penn State golfer.
"It's a really cool feeling to be in a class like that," Rohanna said. "There have been a lot of great golfers to come through Penn State, so it's an honor."
Rohanna beat Miami's Nathan Sutherland by three strokes after posting scores of 72-68-76 (216), winning the tournament at 3-over par and becoming the first golfer ever to win the Rutherford Intercollegiate in back-to-back years. He also became just the third golfer in tournament history to win multiple times (Penn State's Sherm Hostetter `75/'77 and Clarion's Joe Boros `82/'84).
"It feels good to win again," said Rohanna, who led the field in par-4 scoring (3.97 average, -1). "It never feels bad to win. This win gives me a little confidence booster going into the Big Ten Championship."
Penn State, ranked No. 35 by Golfstat and No. 36 by the Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings, shot rounds of 286-286-306 (878), recording the lowest team score in each round and capturing the Rutherford Intercollegiate team title for the second consecutive year and15th time in the last 17 years. The Nittany Lions finished 16 shots ahead of second-place Miami (894). The Lions led the 12-team field in par-3 scoring (3.33 average, +20) and in total birdies, carding 34 in all.
"I'm proud of the guys," Rohanna said. "They all played the best they could, considering how ridiculously hard it was to play in tsunami-like conditions."
Named after R.B. "Pop" Rutherford, Sr., the father of Penn State golf, the tournament was held at the 7,202-yard, par-71 Penn State Blue Course. Following a day of clear, sunny skies, the field competed in extremely rainy conditions Sunday, raising the average third-round score to 79.89 strokes, nearly nine strokes over par. No player in the 66-player field carded a round at or below par in the final round.
Penn State sophomores T.J. Howe (Osceola, Pa.) and Kevin Foley (Somerville, N.J.) both reached a milestone of five top-5 finishes in their collegiate careers. Howe shot rounds of 72-70-79 (221) and tied for third place at 8-over par. Following a career-best second-place finish at last weekend's Kepler Intercollegiate, he finished among the leaders with eight total birdies and a 4.12 average (+4) on par 4s. Foley fired rounds of 71-73-78 (221) and tied for fifth place at 9-over par.
Junior Matt Leon (Brampton Ontario) carded a final-round 73 - the lowest round of the day - and tied for 18th place at 15-over par. Senior Harvin Groft (State College, Pa.) rounded out Penn State's lineup, tying for 26th place at 17-over par.
Penn State also had five golfers playing individually in the tournament. Freshman Brendan Borst (Pittsburgh, Pa.) led the group, shooting rounds of 72-82-74 (228) and tying for 18th place at 15-over par. Juniors Chad Bricker (Waynesboro, Pa.) and Mitch Van Zelfden (Marietta, Ga.) tied for 26th place and 31st place, respectively.
The Nittany Lions begin postseason play this weekend at the Big Ten Golf Championship. The 72-hole tournament, hosted by Michigan State, will be played April 25-27 at the 7,013-yard, par-72 Forest Akers West Course in East Lansing, Mich. Penn State tied for sixth place at last year's Big Ten Championship.
"We just want to compete well," Rohanna said. "If we all play the best we can and get it going, we have a great chance to finish near the top."
Team R1 R2 R3 Score To Par 1) Penn State 286 286 306 878 +26 2) Miami (Ohio) 294 289 311 894 +42 3) Hartford 300 290 312 902 +50 4) Akron 295 300 312 907 +55 5) Francis Marion 290 306 314 910 +58 6) Bowling Green 302 295 317 914 +62 7) Ball State 293 297 326 916 +64 8) St. Bonaventure 286 311 321 918 +66 9) Ohio 297 298 325 920 +68 10) Richmond 303 296 325 924 +72 11) Binghamton 304 311 318 933 +81 12) Wright State 307 312 315 934 +82