Ivy League Championships information
PHILADELPHIA - After last weekend’s third-place finish at the Caves Valley Intercollegiate, the Penn men’s golf team is in great position heading into this weekend’s Ivy League Championships.
The 54-hole event -- just the second the Penn men have played this year -- will take place Friday through Sundayat Atlantic City Country Club in Northfield, N.J. The eight teams are scheduled to play 18 holes each day.
“We played 54 holes over three days at Columbia in the fall, the same format as Ivies,” said Penn’s first-year head coach, Scott Allen. “The only catch with this format is not wasting your down time after rounds. We'll spend some quality time at the range, and with finals coming up the guys have plenty of work to do once we get back to the hotel.
“I think the Ivy Championships is wide open right now,” he continued. “We've defeated all of the other contenders at least once over the past two weeks. We've also been nipped by Harvard once and Yale once. I feel that we have a great shot to take the title, but there are probably four other schools that feel the same way.”
Penn has had a successful run at Ivies in recent years. Two years ago, of course, the Quakers won their second team title and earned a spot in the NCAA Regional field. Last year, the team placed third, but Michael Blodgett became the first Quaker to win medalist honors in the event’s 35-year history.
However, Blodgett has been injured all spring and will miss the Championships this year. Instead, the lineup will have just two players with Ivy League Championships experience -- Brett Rendina and Kevin Huntington.
“Losing Blodgett obviously hurts, but I'm confident that we have five guys here who can compete,” said Allen. “I think we've had the best spring of any Ivy school, and that has all happened without Michael."
Rendina has had a solid spring, finishing as Penn’s low scorer two times and second a third. This past weekend, he was disqualified from the first round of the Caves Valley after signing an incorrect scorecard (he shot 74, but signed for a 73), but followed up with a 74 on Sunday. For the spring, he has a 74.3 stroke average. Huntington, meanwhile, has a 78.0 stroke average with a low round of 74 this spring.
“I am extremely proud of how Brett has stepped up in Michael's absence,” said Allen. “He has been our go-to guy, and he has given his teammates confidence that we have a leader in the lineup. I think Brett has the potential to be right in the mix for the individual title if he plays his best."
Scotty Williams has climbed the ladder in a major way this spring. He posted 72-70142 this past weekend to finish third overall at Caves Valley. For the spring he has a 74.6 average and been Penn’s low scorer in each of the last two events.
“Scotty has come on strong this spring,” said Allen. “He is so calm and cool that nothing flusters him. He is showing that he might be the best freshman in the league. The way that Scotty and Dillon Hakes have played this spring, as freshmen, has been a big part of our success.”
Hakes, who matched his low round of the year last weekend at Caves Valley, and Bryant Williams figure to be Penn’s other golfers this weekend. Hakes has a 77.3 stroke average for the spring, while Williams has a 78.6 average.