Consistency, confidence key to men’s golf championship run

The men’s golf season is nearing its end, with just the Big East Championship remaining. Coming off an eighth-place finish in Princeton, N.J. on April 7 and a sixth-place finish in State College, Penn. at the Rutherford Intercollegiate, the Pirates will look to finish with their best performance of the year in Callawassie Island, S.C. at the Big East Championship from April 29 to May 1.

Consistency has at times been lacking for the Pirates this season. At the Princeton Invitational, the Pirates fell behind with a 20-over-par second round following an even-par first day, leading to a descent down the leaderboard.

Photo via SHU Athletics

Chris Yeom led the Pirates individually, placing 11th overall after shooting over-par for the tournament. However, his performance was not smooth.

After shooting seven-over-par on the front nine on the second day of the tournament, Yeom found his shot to record three birdies and six pars on the back nine.

“I was so shocked by my first nine,” Yeom said about his up-and-down day. “Once I reached the 10th hole, it was a new nine for me.”

At the Rutherford Intercollegiate, Yeom picked up where he left off on the back nine at Princeton, as he shot a 2-under-par 69, helping him to a third-place finish among individuals. As as a team, the Pirates had a stellar first round with a 288 team score. In rounds two and three, Seton Hall finished with identical scores of 303, which put the team at 25-over-par and tied for sixth.

Neither tournament was ideal for the Hall, but there were bright spots in each tournament that powered the Pirates to record-setting highs as the UNCG Martin Downs Intercollegiate from Feb. 11-13. Yeom noted how the team needs to take lessons from its recent performances.

“We should really try to learn from our mistakes from Princeton and try to work hard since we only have one tournament left,” Yeom said.

Consistency has been the key. In all but three of the Pirates’ tournaments , there has been at least a double-digit difference between their best and worst days. This is a trend that both the players and coaches are aware of, and something they recognize needs to stop.

“I think for us to have a legitimate chance of winning, we’re going to have to play more consistent throughout the entire tournament,” coach Clay White said. “We have to start strong, stay strong and finish strong.”

When the Pirates have maintained consistency, they have thrived, including a second-place finish in the Hartford Hawks Invitational on Sept. 19 and the aforementioned UNCG Martin Downs Intercollegiate.

In looking forward to the Big East Championship, White referenced the field and how tough powerhouses like Marquette and Georgetown are. That said, White maintains this team is more than capable of competing on the championship leaderboard as long as the players have the right mindset.

“We really need to go into it with the approach of we want to win instead of we need to win,” White said. “We have to pay attention to the little things, but also have fun, relax and go into it with confidence in ourselves and our ability.”

That confidence comes in part from the talent White sees across his roster, particularly in rising star Yeom. White noted that on a team that has been troubled by inconsistency, Yeom has been a constant in his performances. Still, for the Pirates to put in a memorable performance in the Big East Championship, the effort will have to be a collective one led by the likes of Yeom and freshman phenom Gregor Tait.

Keith Egan can be reached at keith.egan@student.shu.edu or on Twitter @Keith_egan10.

Author: Keith Egan

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