PHILADELPHIA – The University of Pennsylvania men’s golf team is ready to tee off on the 2015-16 season, as the Quakers travel to Ithaca, N.Y., for the annual Cornell Invitational. The 54-hole event begins with two rounds on Saturday, followed by a final 18 on Sunday at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Course at Cornell University.
Penn -- which tied for second at this event a year ago -- is one of four Ivy League teams in the field, along with the host Big Red (which will field two teams), Brown and Princeton. The 14-team field also includes Binghamton, Bucknell, Canisius, Colgate, Delaware, Rider, Saint Joseph’s, Siena, and Towson.
Robert Trent Jones Golf Course at Cornell University plays to 6,904 yards and par 71 from the Big Red tees. It has a rating of 73.1 and slope of 137.
After being led by Austin Powell and Ben Cooley the last several years -- Powell was last year’s Ivy League Player of the Year -- Penn has some question marks in the lineup. For this first event, fourth-year head coach Bob Heintz is going with senior Patrick O’Leary, junior Matt Kern, sophomore Amay Poria, and a pair of newcomers in Carter Thompson (a Florida State transfer) and freshman Josh Goldenberg. Junior Dane Walton, who played in the lineup at last year’s Ivy and NCAA events, will play this weekend as an individual.
“I’m very excited to get the team on the road this week,” said Heintz. “Cornell runs a great tournament, and we played well there last year, so I love the idea of kicking things off at this event. The guys have been battling through an intense qualifying process and they are looking forward to competing as a team.
“Of course, with the loss of Austin, Ben and Tomas Agrest, we have some big shoes to fill. We will be giving some of our new players a chance to step in right away with Carter leading the way after winning our qualifying tournament. The other new face this week will be Josh, who found success at Cornell in the New York State High School Championships over the last two years. We cannot wait to begin the journey toward the defense of our Ivy League title!”