While the 2018-19 PGA Tour season ended in late August, the 2019-20 Collegiate Golf season is just getting started.
Seton Hall officially kicked off the year on September 7th at the 2019 Alex Lagowitz Memorial in Hamilton, New York, and the hype for the season could not be higher. Head coach Clay White’s squad will have a slew of experienced players, including seniors Alex McAuley and Alex Chalk, as well as juniors Gregor Tait and Andres Acevedo. Together, the four players combined for a lot of top placements last season and invaluable experience to help lead the underclassmen that fill out the rest of the roster.
While White loves the fact that his juniors and seniors lend their experience to the younger guys, he did note that Deven Ramachandran was one underclassman to keep an eye on. “Gregor, Andres, and Deven were some mainstays in our lineup last year,” said White. “I’m excited about our potential and to see where it goes.’’ This is something to note, considering Tait, Acevedo, and Ramachandran all have at least one more year of college eligibility left, so while upperclassman leadership is undoubtedly key, this team is full of guys who have a lot left in store for the Seton Hall golf program.
One Pirate golfer who is in his final year of eligibility is Alexander Chalk. A native of Scotland, Chalk is known for his iron play, but did note that he worked on other parts of his game this summer, explaining, “Over the last few years it’s been an issue getting around the greens, but I definitely worked on that this summer, and I feel like it’s going to help me moving forward this year”.
While Chalk will be counted on with his play, he also seems to be in a position to be a leader in the locker room. He talked about his interactions with the younger players on the team, saying, “I try and give them (the freshmen) advice on how we deal with things with the coach and how we go about our day to day practice, just trying to improve how they can be in the future so they can pass down their knowledge”. Of course, this comes in handy for a team that does boast two newcomers, among the four other sophomores entering just their second season at The Hall.
The Pirates seemed to have clicked a little bit after a third place showing out of 18 teams on Colgate’s home course, but they have a lot ahead of them, starting with the Hartford Hawks Invitational this Monday and Tuesday in South Kent, Connecticut. Regardless, placing bronze in the first match of the season - especially the fall season - must be a positive outlook on the remainder of the season, especially come spring.
While the bulk of the schedule is during the spring, the Pirates do have a lot of tournaments this fall, including the Georgetown Intercollegiate, among others. While Coach White takes all fall matches seriously, he did note, “We want to see where we are and really understand what are our strengths (and weaknesses).” However, as White is entering his 16th season as the head coach of the Pirates, it’s easy to tell that he has this down to a science and should be able to see exactly what his team can put out there very shortly.
Mat Mlodzinski can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.