The Engineers fought through wet and windy weather at their third tournament of the semester last Saturday and Sunday. The Rensselaer men’s golf team traveled to Ralph Myhre Golf Course on the campus of Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vermont. They finished in eighth place out of 22 teams at the 33rd Annual Duke Nelson Tournament. Three days remain until the Rensselaer men’s golf team tees off at Timber Banks Golf Club in Baldwinsville, New York, for the two-day Fall Liberty League Championship.
Striving for par-71 in their first round of play on Saturday, the Engineers came close, earning 309 points. Had the top four Engineers shot each hole on par, a score of 284 would have resulted. Leader Skidmore College finished out the day with 296 points with Mackenzie Nelson landing a place as the top individual for the day one under par.
First for the Engineers and tied for eighth individually was junior Erik Larrabee, who scored three over par. Trailing him was freshman Nick Franki in 19th with 76, senior Aaron Schaugher with 79, and senior Andrew Galvin with 80.
On Sunday, Larrabee shot a 73 to finish the tournament in sixth place out of 113 golfers, totaling 147 for the weekend. Nelson was the top individual with a two-day total of 141. Galvin and Franki tied for 42nd with 156, and Schaugher tied for 51st with 157.
The team tied for first at the spring Liberty League Championship last semester. Schaugher was an individual medalist.
“Our team’s goal again this year is to win the Liberty League Championship and earn a bid to the NCAA Tournament this spring in Orlando, Florida,” said Schaugher. “We have come close in the past few years but have not been able to pull it off. This would be the first NCAA tournament appearance for the men’s golf team.”
Jamie Jackson ’16 returned this year as an assistant coach for men’s golf. A biomedical engineering major, he is the only Rensselaer golfer in history to receive National Academic All-American accolades.
“Having Jamie Jackson back as an assistant really helps the team with recruiting and he does a great job prepping the rookies for tournaments,” said Schaugher. “Having been a two-time Academic All-American, he knows what needs to be done on and off the course to be successful and he is able to preach that work ethic down the lineup.”