By Tyler Hofmann-Reardon
This past weekend, the Roanoke College golf team took first place out of 14 teams at the Camp Lejeune Invitational in the Scarlet Division. Having placed 9th at the same event last year, the Maroons are fielding a stronger squad this year, making them an interesting contender in this year’s upcoming ODAC championships.
The Maroons put together a solid overall performance throughout the three day event, but it was Roanoke’s hot start that set the tone for the victory. On the first day, the team opened the gates with an incredible even-par 280 for the entire team and led over the closest team, Virginia Wesleyan, by an impressive 11 strokes. Although the Maroons struggled the second day, the team rebounded on the third day to post a solid (+5) 285 on their way to a total (+45) 893 which secured them a win over second place Piedmont College who posted an 898 overall.
Of the 14 teams that participated, two were fellow ODAC squads, and the Maroons easily topped them. Although Lynchburg placed third, the Maroons bested them with a 10-stroke margin. Virginia Wesleyan’s fifth place finish was still 13 strokes back from the dominant Maroons.
Roanoke also placed two golfers in the top ten, and another two in the top 30 at the invitational. Will Brown led the Maroons with an incredible (+3) 215, good for third place in the event. Like most of the Maroons, Brown’s worst performance came on the second day, yet he made up for it with scores of 67 (-3) and 69 (-1) in the first and third rounds, respectively. Kolton Cooper also cracked the top ten with a 6th place, (+7) 219. Colton’s best performance came on the first day with a solid even par and he concluded the event with a (+1) 71 score. The two top 30 performances came from Alex Taylor in 23rd place and Ryan Davis in 26th place. Taylor’s score accumulated to a 230 with his best round, a plus-one 71, coming on the first day. Davis was close behind with a 231 and he also posted his best score, a two-over 72, on the first day.
With the win, the Maroons secured second place in the Men’s team averages, with an average round score of 306.8, sitting just behind Guilford’s 298.1 average round score. With the Roanoke Invitational this weekend, the Maroons are in a prime position to use their momentum and their home course advantage to take the top spot in the ODAC. If the whole team continues their consistent play and the Maroons’ two ODAC top ten shooters, Andrew Butts and Colton Cooper continue their high level of play, then the Maroons will have a strong standing when the ODAC championships roll around. With the last ODAC golf championship for the Maroons coming in 1980, the hype is all too real around these golfers. Be sure to come support them this weekend at the Roanoke Invitational.