PHILADELPHIA – The University of Pennsylvania men’s golf team faces its final test before next weekend's Ivy League Championships, as the Quakers trek South this weekend to participate in the Wolfpack Spring Open hosted by North Carolina State University.
Penn is one of 13 schools in a field that also includes fellow Ivies Columbia and Dartmouth. The tournament will take place at the par-72, 7,284-yard Lonnie Poole Golf Course in Raleigh, N.C. Lonnie Poole hosted an NCAA Men’s Regional last year and will host an NCAA Women’s Regional later this spring. Tee times for the 36-hole event will begin at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday and 8 a.m. on Sunday.
Head Coach Bob Heintz’s lineup this weekend will include seniors Austin Powell and Ben Cooley; junior Patrick O'Leary; sophomore Dane Walton; and freshman Amay Poria. Another sophomore, Matt Kern, will be in the field as an individual.
“Even though the Philly weather looks great for this weekend, we are excited to be heading South to play in the ‘heat’ of North Carolina for a few days,” said Heintz. “The Lonnie Poole Golf Course is a long, testing layout, and should be a great place for us to compete in the lead-up to the Ivy Championships. We will be playing alongside Dartmouth in Round 1, and Columbia is in the field as well, so we will be able to compare our play to some fellow Ivy teams.
“While I wouldn't say each of our team members is playing at his peak, I do feel as though we are coming into form based on some recent scores,” he continued. “Ben and Amay showed some form at Aronimink last Saturday with 70 and 71, respectively, and Patrick has been steadily improving over the course of the season. Austin is healthy again, and we have sorted out his driver issues after he caved in the face of his gamer three weeks ago. Finally, I’m giving Dane another look this weekend since he’s been working hard on simplifying his swing and we could really use his explosiveness if he can play to his potential. Matt will join us as an individual competitor; he has been steady this spring, and this tournament will give him the opportunity to work on his wedge play and mental game to help him improve scoring.
“On a personal note, I really enjoy traveling with this group of golfers, which makes that part of my job easier. They are respectful and polite, and they try to be strong representatives of Penn Golf and the Penn community. They are talented players as well, and I hope they show that off over the next two weeks.”