The Pirates kicked off their 2009 season this weekend, as they participated in the Turning Stone Tiger Intercollegiate Tournament in Verona, N.Y.
Led by junior Colin Van Es, who finished the day two strokes over-par, the Hall finished third overall. Collectively they shot 43-over-par, finishing with a score of 907.
The Pirates were defeated by runner up University of Richmond, with a team total of 897, and winners University of Missouri, with a tally of 885.
“I thought that we could’ve beaten Richmond,” head coach Clay White said. “Missouri was too far ahead to catch.”
The Pirates shot a round high 307 to start off the tournament.
In the next round, their score increased two strokes to 309.
Going into the third and final round, Seton Hall was in fourth place and in need of a strong round. The Pirates shot a 291 to finish in third place.
This tournament was the first for freshman Brandon Park.
Park was recruited from Cypress Bay High School in his home state, where he led the team to a Junior State Championship by shooting a 1-over-par.
The Weston, Fla. native also won a Regional Championship his junior year, and was a four time All-County honoree.
In the Turning Stone Invitational, his first college level tournament, Park went an impressive 3-over-par, and ended with a score of 219, the fourth lowest out of anyone in the tournament.
“Every year you try to get better recruits than the year before, and it is easier to recruit when the team is doing better,” White said. “Brandon has a good demeanor on the course, he is calm and steady.”
In the final round of the day, both Park and Van Es shot 69-under-par. The team combined team total of the round, 291, was the lowest recorded in the tournament.
“Colin did not have a great sophomore year,” White said. “I know he is a great player and has played well in practice. I’m excited for him, he could be a huge impact on the team.”
Sophomore Troy Spencer shot a 13-over-par and tied for the 15th best score.
Senior Ryan Castanet placed fourth for the Hall with a solid 25 over-par.
Also, senior David Sampson shot a 33-over-par, which landed him in 54th place.
“If the seniors did better we could have done better,” White said. “We have to stay away from big numbers, stay even keel.”
So after the first tournament of the season, the Seton Hall Pirates will get back to action at Navy Fall Classic this coming weekend in Annapolis, Md. Two years ago, the Hall placed fifth in the tournament.
“We need go to under the hole because the greens are fast,” White said. “Also, we need to watch game management, and play one shot at a time.”
Sampson is the only Pirate who has seen the course while playing for the Hall, and shot a 7-over-par.
The Hall will end the month in Lawrence, Kan. for the Kansas Invitational on the 28 and 29.
They then will participate in the Joe Agee Invitational in Williamsburg, Va. on October 10th and 11th.
As for Missouri, they head to Zionsville, Ind. for the Wolf Run Intercollegiate on Sept. 12 and 13 , and will meet up with the Hall again at the Kansas Invitational.
Nicholas Parco can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org