Nationally-Ranked Men's Golf Team Finishes Fall Season Strong
Nov. 6, 2007
Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla. - Top-five finishes were commonplace this fall for the Penn State men's golf team. The Nittany Lions finished the season with a second-place finish at the Wolverine at Mission Inn Tuesday.
It was Penn State's fifth top-5 finish in as many tournaments. The Nittany Lions concluded the season with an overall record of 56-5.
"Overall I was really pleased with the fall," said head coach Greg Nye. "We couldn't be happier as coaches. I think the players know that they achieved great things this season."
Penn State, ranked No. 11 by Golfstat and No. 20 in both the Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings and Golf World/Nike Golf Division 1 Coaches' Poll, shot rounds of 304-284-294 (882), falling to host Michigan by 10 strokes. The Wolverines shot rounds of 294-289-289 (872) to win the tournament at eight-over par.
Senior Robert Rohanna (Waynesburg, Pa.) displayed his finest performance of the fall, posting scores of 73-70-73 (216) and finishing in third place at even par - the ninth top-five finish of his collegiate career. The three-time Mid-Atlantic All-Region Team selection finished five shots behind the leader, Michigan's Tim Schaetzel.
"I feel like I can finish in the top 10 every time I go out there," Rohanna said. "I finally had things going for me this tournament, and I'm happy I finished the way I did."
Ten teams competed in the two-day, 54-hole tournament in Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla., where temperature's reached the mid-80s. The tournament was played at the 6,923-yard, par-72 El Campeon golf course, part of the Mission Inn Golf and Tennis Resort.
Senior Harvin Groft (State College, Pa.) and redshirt freshman T.J. Howe (Osceola, Pa.) recorded identical scores in all three rounds. Both players shot rounds of 78-70-72 (220) and tied for seventh place at four-over par.
The seventh-place finish is the best of Groft's collegiate career. He tied for third in both par-3 scoring (4.10 average, +3) and total pars with 38.
Howe was one of only three players in the 60-player field to record an eagle. He tallied 11 birdies and tied for third in par-5 scoring (4.42 average, -7). It was Howe's third top-10 finish in only five career collegiate starts.
"I was really pleased with the play of T.J. and Harvin this fall," Nye said. "They both played really terrific and put us in a position to have good team finishes."
Sophomore Kevin Foley (Somerville, N.J.) shot rounds of 75-74-78 (227) and tied for 20th place at +11. Fellow sophomore Jim Markovitz (Bridgeville, Pa.) tied for 46th place at +18 after posting scores of 81-76-77 (234).
The Nittany Lions finished the season with two wins: at the Wolf Run Intercollegiate and at the VCU Shootout. They'll begin their spring season March 10-11 at the Cleveland Golf Palmetto Intercollegiate in Aiken, S.C.
"We lost a total of five times this fall with two wins and two second-place finishes," Rohanna said. "That's pretty solid. We hope to improve on that and have a solid spring season."
Team R1 R2 R3 Total To Par 1) Michigan 294 289 289 872 +8 2) Penn State 304 284 294 882 +18 3) Illinois 302 287 296 885 +21 4) Colorado 303 285 307 895 +31 5) Iowa State 301 295 307 903 +39 6) Iowa 314 288 303 905 +41 7) Missouri 311 296 305 912 +48 8) Miami (Ohio) 306 302 306 914 +50 T9) Northern Illinois 305 301 311 917 +53 T9) Xavier 307 300 310 917 +53