Only one competition remains on the schedule for the Seton Hall men’s golf team this season, and that is the 2015 Big East Championship.
The Pirates will attempt to capture their first Big East title since 2000 at the Callawassie Island Golf Club in Callawassie Island, S.C. Seton Hall finished sixth at the same course in last year’s Big East Championship. The Pirates goal this year? Play their best golf head coach Clay White said.
“The goal is to play the best golf we can, unlike other sports you can’t control what the other teams do,” White said. “For us it’s trying to stay within our game, play the best golf we can, and see what happens at the end.”
There has been some momentum building for this team heading into the tournament as they have finished second, fourth and third in their last three tournaments. However to win the Big East Championship all five starters are going to have to deliver a quality performance, something he said he believes they have the potential to do.
“LJ (Lloyd Jefferson Go) was tied for second most of the round last year so he has the experience and he’s done it before. JT (Harper) is hitting a lot better and Ryan (Snouffer) has been solid all year. Any one of those three have the potential to do well. And Kevin O’Brien has been playing well the last couple of tournaments. Then Cory (Wilson), you never know, he’s a guy that can play really well at times,” he said. “ All five guys we are taking down there have the potential to do well as long as they stay within their games and take each shot one at a time.”
To end a 15 year long title drought, the Pirates are going to have to overcome a competitive field that includes the defending champion St. John’s Red Storm, tournament favorites the Marquette Golden Eagles, and an array of other teams primed to make a run at first place. St. John’s pulled away with a 10 stroke victory in the 2014 Championship, but expectations this year are that the end result will be closer.
“Marquette is probably the favorite going in, DePaul has been playing well this spring, Xavier has some kids that have been playing really, really well. Those are the four teams that will be the most competitive in the tournament along with us,” said White. “It’s all going to boil down to who makes putts…Whatever team gets hot during those three days is probably going to be the one that’s going to win,” White said.
The Pirates will prepare for this tournament just as they would any other one without elevating it to a different status. A team’s mentality is often overlooked in sports, but will play an integral part in Seton Hall’s success this weekend as noted by coach White.
“Just trying to not let our minds go elsewhere and start getting too far ahead of ourselves. Trying to take it one shot at a time, one hole at a time versus 54. It’s a difficult thing to do, but if we can do that I think at the end we’ll be there with a chance to win.”
The 2015 Big East Championship will be a 54 hole, three day affair beginning on Friday, April 24 and concluding with a champion being crowned on Sunday, April 26.
Matt Zeigafuse can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on twitter @mattzeigafuse.