Hoping to improve on their 10th-place finish in the Gridiron Classic last week, the Georgetown men’s golf team made the trek to Fort Myers, Fla., to take part in the Renaissance Invitational hosted by Xavier University.
Competing against a field comprised of several teams in the nation’s top 65, the Blue and Gray posted a score of 881 to tie for fifth place with the University of Wisconsin.
Sophomore Curtis Loop continued his dominance, turning in a 6-under par performance, which was just one stroke behind the event’s individual winner, Musketeer sophomore Sebastian MacLean.
Despite the solid and much improved performance, the Hoyas were no match for the host – Xavier. The Muskeeters – down by two strokes to Florida Gulf Coast heading into the final round – shot a final round 282 to seal a three-stroke victory.
The Blue and Gray’s greatest struggles in their last tournament came in the first round, and much to the dismay of the Hoya faithful, those struggles also made the trip from South Bend to Florida.
After the first round of play, Georgetown again found itself near the bottom of the pack thanks to a combined team score of 300, 12-over par. Loop was the lone bright spot for the Blue and Gray, shooting a 3-under par 69.
Led by the extraordinary play of Loop, the Hoyas were able to drastically lower their scores and claw back up the leaderboard in the second and third rounds.
“Curtis Loop’s play was outstanding. We climbed on his back and he took us right to a top-five finish,” Head Coach Tommy Hunter said. “One thing special about Curtis is his ability to bounce back. If he makes a mistake or gets a bad break he plows through it and recovers so well. . That is a sign of a quality player.”
Georgetown’s score of 291 in the second round was the third-best among all teams. Leading the second-round charge along with Loop (72) was junior Brian Dorfman, who shot a 2-under par 70.
In the final round, Georgetown golfers continued to rise up the leaderboard as their scores fell, finishing with a final round score of 291 and an overall tournament score of 881.
Loop closed out the tournament with another 69, while Dorfman posted a 1-over par 73, solidifying Georgetown’s fifth-place finish. Rounding out the lineup were junior Taylor Hall (228) and seniors Brandon Ellis (227) and Danny Hathaway (232).
Hunter was very impressed with his team’s progression in the final two rounds and their fifth-place finish.
“We were very pleased to capture a top-five finish and come away with a number of quality wins,” Hunter said. “Although we continued to struggle a bit in the opening round of the event, we battled back over 36 holes and played some of the most inspired golf we have played in years. Our [quality scores] demonstrate our ability to play. . Now we just have to figure out how to be a bit more consistent over 54 holes.”
If Loop continues to play at this level, the Hoyas should have no problem finding that consistency.
“We were sad [Loop] came up one shot short of capturing medalist honors, but to his credit it, he mentioned how it will `keep him hungry’ as we head into our next tournament,” Hunter said. “As for the rest of the guys, I was very proud of our final round effort.”
The Hoyas will get back out on the links on Monday, Oct. 11, in Richmond, Va., for the Richmond Intercollegiate.”