PHILADELPHIA – Coming off a solid performance last weekend at the Wolfpack Spring Open, the University of Pennsylvania men’s golf team is ready to tee it up at the Ivy League Championships this weekend. The 54-hole event begins Friday and continues through Sunday on the Grace Course at Saucon Valley CC in Bethlehem, Pa.
Penn’s last title at this event came in 2012; the Quakers also won the Ivy crown in 1998 and 2007.
Penn’s lineup will be anchored by seniors Austin Powell and Ben Cooley. Junior Patrick O'Leary, who was the Quakers’ low scorer last weekend at the Wolfpack Spring Open in North Carolina, will also be in the lineup along with freshman Amay Poria and sophomore Dane Walton. All but Poria were in the lineup at last year’s Championships, and are eager to erase the memories of last year’s eighth-place finish.
“Coming off our solid performance at N.C. State last weekend, the team is upbeat as we finalize preparations for the Ivy Championships,” said head coach Bob Heintz. “With Patrick setting the pace, almost every member of the team threatened to break par in one or both rounds at the Lonnie Poole Golf Course. We certainly feel like we can be a contender this week at Saucon Valley. I’ve been watching the confidence build throughout the spring, and Patrick is a great example of what you can achieve when you begin to believe in yourself and trust in your ability to play the game.
“This team is a hard-working group, so they deserve to play well, and it would be a pleasure to watch their games peak at the right time this weekend,” he continued. “Our goal will be to play well enough to have a chance to win on Sunday and feel the excitement of contending since we missed out on that last year. We will put in two days of good practice at the Philadelphia Cricket Club before heading to Bethlehem, and then we’ll see if we can put up some great numbers on the Grace Course.”
Austin Powell (Sr.)
19 tournament rounds this year / 73.7 stroke average
Individual medalist at Mission Inn Spectacular
Low round: 69 (2nd and 3rd rounds Mission Inn; 2nd round Macdonald Cup; 2nd round Quechee Club)
Previous Ivy finishes: t-35th in 2014; 40th in 2013; t-29th in 2012
Ben Cooley (Sr.)
21 tournament rounds this year / 75.0 stroke average
Low round: 69 (2nd round Macdonald Cup)
Previous Ivy finishes: 7th in 2014 (second-team All-Ivy), 30th in 2013
Patrick O'Leary (Jr.)
14 tournament rounds this year / 77.6 stroke average
Low round: 69 (2nd round Wolfpack Spring Open)
Previous Ivy finishes: t-21st in 2014
Amay Poria (Fr.)
19 tournament rounds this year / 76.1 stroke average
Low round: 70 (1st round Temple Invitational)
Previous Ivy finishes: none
Dane Walton (So.)
14 tournament rounds this year / 80.5 stroke average
Low round: 71 (City Six Shootout)
Previous Ivy finishes: t-18th in 2014