Golf wraps up regular season against Kenyon College

Samuel Casey

Editor in Chief

 

The College of Wooster men’s and women’s golf teams competed in their last event of the regular season over the weekend before heading to Denison University for the 2021 NCAC Championships. The men came up short to Kenyon College 310-335 at home while the women finished with a 706, good for fourth place at the Denison Spring Invitational. This marked the completion of the spring season for the first time since 2019, as last year’s season was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

At the Wooster Country Club, Tyler Hilbert ’24 led the Fighting Scots with a 78 on Sunday, the third-lowest score in the field and six strokes behind the medalist, Kenyon’s Lawrence Courtney, who fired an even-par 72. Notably, Hilbert finished the regular season with an average score of 79.1, third-best on the team and leading the pack of Wooster’s ten first years. 

David Roney ’21 was the second Scot in the field’s top five with a score of  81 and one of four players with at least 10 pars on the day. Ben Foltz ’22 (87), Connor Mitchell ’24 (89) and Jacob Ullom ’24 (92) rounded out the team while John Varley ’24 shot an impressive 88 to lead individual entrants. 

The competition was also Senior Recognition Day for Roney, the lone graduating player on the team, who wrapped up his collegiate regular season career. “I’m really just trying to live up every hole I get to play from here on out, and I’m thankful we got to have a season,” he said, referring to the uncertainty surrounding sports this year. “The tournaments have been more intimate than in the past, but that has helped me get even closer to my teammates.” Roney is looking forward to his last event as a Fighting Scot on Saturday at the Denison Golf Club. “I think what I’m most excited for at the NCAC Championships is just getting one more chance to play collegiate golf surrounded by my coach and teammates,” he said.

Head Coach Rich Danch spoke about how meaningful Roney has been to the golf program. “He’s a fantastic golfer but he’s an even better teammate, friend and confidant,” Danch said. “He has managed to get most everything right over the course of four years … and his departure will leave a hole that will be difficult to fill.” 

Two seniors on the women’s team also proved invaluable. At the two-day invitational, Megan Gronau ’21 shot 86 back-to-back for a total of 172, tying for 12th in the field, while Tongtong Wu ’21 finished one stroke behind at 173 after a second-round 86, placing 15th. Ultimately, it was the Big Red who triumphed at their home tournament, taking first-place with a combined 634 and medalist honors with Sophia Alexander’s 154. DePauw University (661) and Wittenberg University (675) finished ahead of Wooster’s 706 while Ohio Wesleyan placed a distant fifth (762). A Sunday charge was led by Melissa Cooke ’24 whose nine-stroke improvement from Saturday contributed to the Scots’overall eight-stroke gain, with Kayla Audette ’22 (90) and Riley Thorr ’23 (98) rounding out the team’s score.

Devon Matson ’21, who had her own two-stroke improvement, competed as an individual in her last collegiate round. “Golf has been such a large and important part of my life while at Wooster, and I am so grateful for the friends I made and experiences I had,” Matson said. “Although my career here is over, I know I will always be a member of the Wooster women’s golf team.”

Gronau shared a similar sentiment, stating, “I have absolutely loved playing collegiate golf, and representing Wooster every weekend at golf tournaments has truly been an honor.”

Both Fighting Scots teams will compete at the 2021 NCAC Championships opening event at the Denison University Golf Club on Saturday, April 24. No spectators will be allowed.