Golf starts season at University of Hawaii

The men’s golf team kicked off their Spring season over the weekend at the University of Hawaii Hilo Invitational at the Waikoloa Village Country Club in Waikoloa, Hawaii.

Overall the team finished No. 4 out of the 18 teams competing. The scores ranged from very high to very low, with a differential of the high and low score at a large 55.

The team finished with a score of 16-under-par 824, 11 strokes behind the leaders, Stanford took the tournament’s top prize while University of Southern California and Arizona State finished tied for second. Stanford finished 27-under-par 813 and Arizona State and Southern California were both 24-under-par 816.

Tech was the only ACC school to compete in the tournament and one of the few teams from the east coast willing to make the trip out to the islands.

Junior Cameron Tringale finished No. 4 individually at ten-under-par. shooting three strokes behind the leader. Sophomore Chesson Hadley tied for No. 9 shooting seven-under-par for the tournament.

Junior David Dragoo was tied for No. 39, freshman Paul Haley was tied for No. 53 and sophomore Daniel Bowden tied for No. 57.

Dragoo was consistent throughout the weekend, shooting a score of 212 with individual day scores of 70, 71 and 71. Haley shot a score of 69 on Saturday, but also shot a 72 on Friday and a 74 on Sunday to fall out of contention for a top spot. Bowden was able to improve his score as the competition went on, earning scores of 77, 70 and 69.

“[Starting the season out in Hawaii] gets everything going and started on a good note. Everyone is positive and excited about playing. It’s a good warm-up with the nice weather,” Tringale said.

Tringale posted the best single round score for the Jackets, shooting a score of 65 on Friday. He was not able to keep the pace, shooting a 67 and 68 on Saturday and Sunday, respectively. Chesson Hadley followed him by posting a score of 66 on Saturday, but also shot two lower scores on the other two days.

The lack of consistency in individual play hindered the Jackets in their Fall tournaments. While Tech picked up two third-place finishes, they were not able to win a tournament.

“We need to have everyone playing well. The problem in the Fall was that we had one or two guys playing well, which is good, but to compete and start winning, we need four or five guys playing well…Everyone has played pretty well at some point this year. Just getting everyone to click at the same time is going to be important,” Tringale said.

The Jackets, who have won five ACC Championships in the past ten years, including one in 2007 and one in 2006, look to go for a third this year at the ACC Championship.

They also hope to improve at the NCAA Championship where they finished No. 8 last year.

“The ACC Tournament, besides the NCAA tournament, is the big enchilada. We always try to peak towards the end [in time for those two tournaments]…At the same time we are just trying to get a little bit better [every time we go onto a course] that way, come the end of the year we will be in tip-top shape,” Tringale said.

The Jackets next tournament is the Puerto Rico Classic which will be held in Puerto Rico from Feb. 29 to March 2.

They first return back to Georgia to play their first of two competitions in Alpharetta. They first play in the United States Collegiate Championship from March 24-26. They then stay in the home area when they compete in the Augusta State Invitational the next weekend.