The Seton Hall golf team ended their 2009 fall season on Saturday with a pair of losses to fellow Big East schools, the University of South Florida and Marquette at The Match Play hosted by DePaul University.
Match Play differs from a regular round of golf because it uses head to head matchups earning points for their team, and each hole is basically a game in itself. An outright win will earn the winner one point while a halved match, or tie, will result in a half point awarded to each golfer. A team must earn at least three and a half points to move on to the next round.
The match between the Pirates and Bulls proved to be a tight contest with both teams splitting the head to head matchups at 3.
Sophomore Troy Spencer won his match 3 and 1, junior Colin Van Es won 3 and 2 and junior Borja Faixt won his match 1-up of par.
The Match Play rules state that in the event of a 3 to 3 tie, the win will be awarded to the team who won the most individual holes in the six rounds played.
Seton Hall and USF were tied at seven apiece in individual holes in the six rounds of golf played, which led to another tiebreaker.
The second tiebreaker was the overall score of the matchup between the team's top golfers.
USF's Devin Hernandez edged freshman Brandon Park 2 and 1 in the head to head matchup to earn his team the victory.
"It was a little disappointing; it was a heartbreaker," head coach Clay White said. "We thought we would win the matchup. We played a lot of match play leading up to the tournament and were playing better."
Seton Hall also fell to the Golden Eagles, 3.5 to 2.5., the next day.
Park won 3 and 2 and Spencer won 3 and 1 with senior Ryan Castanet halving his matchup.
"They had their heart in it," White said. "We battled and hung in there against Marquette who is very similar to us. They have a lot of potential."
Spencer was the only Pirate to win both of his matchups on the weekend. The North Carolina native capped off a productive fall season where Spencer earned three top 15 finishes in the five tournaments he played in.
"It was a good experience for the guys who were struggling," Spencer said. "Sometimes it helps to play one-on-one rather than the field. It'll pay off in the spring."
With the conclusion of the season, the Pirates will look to work hard in the winter in order to prepare for the spring season on their mission for a Big East Championship.
"We have a lot to accomplish in the spring and that depends on how well we prepare this winter," White said. "We need to keep looking up but not get too far ahead of ourselves."
The Pirates will look to be led through the experience of their three seniors, JC Cardamone, Ryan Castanet and David Sampson.
Colin Rajala can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.