PHILADELPHIA - The Penn men's golf team has prepared diligently for this weekend, and it is finally here. The Ivy League Championships will be played this weekend, starting Friday and continuing through Sunday. The 54-hole event will take place on the par-71, 7,104-yard Galloway (N.J.) National Golf Club.
Tee times will begin at 7:30 a.m. on Friday; 11:30 a.m. on Saturday; and 7:30 a.m. on Sunday.
Galloway is a course that has been friendly to Penn in recent years. In 2007, the Quakers won the team title on this course, and in 2008 Mike Blodgett became the first Penn player to win individual honors at the Championships.
Ideally, this year Penn would bring home both the team and individual titles. It could happen.
As a team, Penn has certainly showed its mettle this spring -- the Quakers have won two tournaments, with two other second-place finishes. Lest you think they are resting on their laurels, though, the team got a wake-up call with last weekend's Wolfpack Spring Open in Raleigh, N.C. Penn finished 11th of 12 teams at that event, but recovered from a terrible start to put up respectable numbers over the final 27 holes.
Head Coach Scott Allen hopes that serves as a proper preparation for this weekend.
"We are very confident going into this weekend," he said. "We have a lot of experience at Galloway. It's a long, demanding course, but you need to think. We will have a detailed practice round, and we think if we mentally approach it the right way we should be in the mix."
The Penn lineup features Scotty Williams, last year's Ivy League individual champion. The junior missed the fall term as he studied abroad, but has a 75.4 stroke average in 13 tournament rounds this spring. Last year's Ivy League Rookie of the Year, Colin St. Maxens, will also be in the lineup. He has a 75.3 stroke average in 2010-11.
The Quakers have been led this spring by some new faces. Freshman Max Marsico has been a force since he arrived on campus in September, with a team-low 73.1 stroke average. He has been Penn's low scorer in two of the last three tournaments, and was second in the third. P.J. Fielding has been right there with Marsico, filling out the the other top-two spot in the three events; he has a 74.3 stroke average.
The fifth member of Penn's lineup is Dillon Hakes, who has been a top-three player for Penn three times this spring. He has a 75.7 stroke average this year, but shot a career-low 69 at Princeton two weeks ago. (In that same event, Marsico carded a 64, while Fielding had a pair of 70s which are his collegiate low.)