This year’s freshman class of golfers has been given extremely high expectations. After the losses of Gen Nagai and Chris Yeom, the new class of James Bosworth, Ian Lee, and Wenliang Xie have a tough four-year act to follow as it looks to make a splash in the collegiate golf world. Of the three newcomers, Xie is gotten off to the fastest start.
The Chinese native, who attended high school in California, made his first collegiate appearance on Sept. 7-8 in Hamilton, New York at the Alex Lagowitz Memorial Invitational. There, Xie played well for a freshman, hitting 10-over-par and tying for 32nd place individually. However, on Sept. 16-17, Xie showed up to the Bulls Bridge Golf Club in South Kent, Connecticut as a different golfer.
The freshman was fantastic on the fairway, as after the first day of the invitational, he was tied with Jake Sollon, a senior from Rider University, for first place individually. Xie grasped this top spot through a 2-under-par, 70, and a 5-under-par, 67, in Monday’s two rounds. His day total of 7-under-par, along with junior Gregor Tait’s 5-under-par 70-69-139 and fourth-place spot individually, propelled the Pirates to a fourth-place spot at the end of the first day.
Xie refused to let up the first-place spot on Tuesday, as on the day’s only round, he shot a 3-under-par to finish with a 70-67-69-206 and 10-under-par, making him only the fourth Pirate to ever finish double digit strokes below par. He topped Fairleigh Dickinson’s Melan Dhaubhadel by one stroke and Sollon by two. Tait finished 3-under-par with a 70-69-74-225 to achieve a tie for 12th place individually. That makes for Tait’s fourth career under-par finish. The duo’s finishes bumped the Pirates’ squad from fourth the third overall, only finishing behind UCF and TCU.
As for the entirety of the Seton Hall squad, as a team they shot 290-285-286-861 and finished 3-under-par, being one of four schools in the entire invitational to finish under-par. Other Pirate standouts included Andres Acevedo who shot 3-over-par for a 28th place finish. Devan Ramachandran and Alex McAuley had nearly identical finishes, as both shot a 3-under-par on Tuesday to finish 45th individually. Of the 101 golfers to finish the course, all from Seton Hall finished inside 65th place, including two, Xie and Tait, in the top-20.
From here, the men’s golf team will look to keep their good play at the Maidstone Club in East Hampton, New York to play in the Hamptons Intercollegiate Invitational hosted by Loyola Maryland on Oct. 7-8.
Brendan Balsamo can be reached at Brendan.email@example.com. Find him on Twitter @brenbal.