Following a sixth-place performance at the Wolfpack Intercollegiate, the Seton Hall men’s golf team will put a cap on its fall season at the Temple Invitational this weekend.
Ryan Snouffer powered the Pirates to just outside of the top five in the 18-team tournament. The junior rolled out his third top-10 finish of the season, tallying an even-par, 213, to put himself in a tie for eighth place out of 93 golfers. The junior transferred to Seton Hall from Adelphi University, where he was a two-time Northeast-10 Conference Player of the Year in Division II.
“Ryan has fit in perfectly with the program,” head coach Clay White said. “He’s stepped right in and has been a leader on the course.”
Reigning Big East Freshman of the Year Lloyd Jefferson (L.J.) Go was not far behind Snouffer in Maryland, finishing in 15th at 3-over-par. Go has not wavered in his sophomore season after finishing his freshman campaign with six straight performances that led the team leaderboard.
“Last year, L.J. had a lot of pressure on him because if he wasn’t playing well, the team would feed off that,” White said. “This year, L.J. has had to battle. He’s had some bumps but I think the pressure is off of him to not have to be the sole leader throughout every tournament.”
Senior J.T. Harper will aim to keep the rhythm going with his game this weekend in Huntington Valley. Harper scored a team-best 1-under-par, 70, en route to a 36th-place finish in the tournament at 10-over par.
“The thing that we need J.T. to continue to do is stay consistent,” White said. “One of the things that he has done well is stay away from having a tough day turn into a mess. I want to see the team get away from doing that this weekend.”
The Pirates will travel to Pennsylvania and play a practice round on Friday before the tournament opens on Saturday at Philmont Country Club.
“The course will play short, so I’ve tried to already stress to the guys that trying to overpower the ball is not the way to go this weekend,” White said. “The golf course demands that you keep the ball straight. We need to avoid having the disastrous round. In a sense, this tournament is about staying away from the huge shot and putting the ball in the right locations.”
The fall season has been highlighted by a team title at the Navy Fall Classic, and White sees no reason why SHU can’t compete for one this weekend.
“This is a versatile group,” he said. “We don’t need one man to carry us.”
At Navy, it was Kevin O’Brien who charged the blue and white to their first championship in nearly two years. The sophomore finished at 21-over-par at the Wolfpack Intercollegiate while junior Cory Wilson garnered a 16th-place finish.
“I think the biggest thing for some of our guys is having confidence in their game,” White said. “One of the toughest things to do in golf is to be able to battle when the day’s not going your way. That’s when confidence can drop. Overall, I have been pleased by the fall. This group gets along really well.”
John Fanta can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @John_Fanta.