Men’s golf uses momentum to propel season forward

 

Photo Courtesy of Kyle Hayes.
JUNIOR KYLE Hayes swings to clear the ball from the sand. Hayes helped the Royals defeat King’s College with a five-over-par 76, earning him medalist honors.

OLIVIA ADAMS
Staff Writer

With its fourth match approaching, the University of Scranton men’s golf team is 3-1 on their season so far and feeling the rush of momentum to continue that success.

In their first match of the 2017 season, junior Brett Lubba, shot for an 5-over par 77. He left Irem Temple Country Club with medalist honors and a collective 331-390 win for the Royals over Misericordia University.

Winning like that, especially when it really counts, seems to be the main thing on the minds of the Royals early this season.

“To play well, and win a lot of our matches for the most part. Doing well in conferences is probably the biggest goal we have. But just to continue playing well,” Lubba said when asked about the team’s goals.

Conference play dominates the minds of student-athletes throughout the Landmark Conference, and, in no doubt, every conference.

The Royals play in the Landmark Conference Fall Invitational match September 30, and the men on this team seem to be uniting together to work as hard as they can to pull out a victory.

“Our coach usually refers to us being like a family, so that’s kind of a thing for us. At least Coach always says that we’re like a ‘golf family’ and everybody knows each other, everybody’s friends and everybody looks out for each other, which is pretty cool for our team,” Lubba said.

Coach Ed Karpovich, a Scranton graduate, is currently on his 36th year as the men’s golf coach. Lubba commended him as being a pivotal reason for their success. “Our coach has been doing this for like 30 years so he does a great job of having everybody playing with each other and getting to know the freshman coming in,” Lubba said.

After the Royal’s first win, they continued their season September 14 when they split with Marywood University and Kings College. At that match, the unthinkable happened — a hole in one.

First year student, Thomas McAuliffe, shot a hole-in-one on the 11th hole, a 129-yard par-3.

“It was my first one—ever! It came as a shock, really. I hit it, it looked good, and then it just went in and I was like ‘…okay’,” McAuliffe said, humbly recounting his bewilderment on hitting the fantastic shot.

Lubba explained it in a less casual manor, “It was insane! You usually don’t see that happen, and for it to happen at a match was just awesome.”

When asked about his about his goals for this season, McAuliffe said he had already achieved it — and it wasn’t the hole in one. His goal was just to play. The love of golf fuels this team to have fun each and every day out on the course with each other.

That fun-loving spirit is helping the University of Scranton men’s golf team to produce a successful season. And isn’t having fun what sports is really all about?

The Royals are feeling confident and hope to win their next match, as they travel to Stonehedge Golf Course, Friday, to take on Keystone.

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