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The Ionian

The Student News Site of Iona University

The Ionian

Golf’s season concludes on high note

The+Gaels+earned+their+best+finish+of+the+season+during+their+last+event+on+October+31st%2C+2023.
photo courtesy of IonaGaels.com
The Gaels earned their best finish of the season during their last event on October 31st, 2023.

The Iona University golf team wrapped up their 2023 season following action at three separate invitationals in October. 

The first of these events was the 2023 UConn Invitational, which began on Oct. 1 in Hampden, M.A. It marked the Gaels’ first event in 10 days, with their last play coming against the University College Dublin on Sept. 21.  

On the first day of the UConn Invitational, Iona broke out with a tie for second place out of 13 teams and fell only two strokes behind the top school. All five Iona golfers posted scores in the 70s. 

Sophomore Zach Baldwin was the Gaels’ top finisher, making a strong push for fourth place at one-under. Graduate student Fletcher Wunderlich landed one stroke behind Baldwin after an even par round of 72. 

Iona fell back a couple of spots on days two and three of the event, mainly due to a 16-over in round two. Even still, sophomore Connor Henderson showed up in a 12th place tie on the individual leaderboard on the second day. Wunderlich recorded the sole Iona eagle on the par five second hole, finishing in 16th.  

Wunderlich saved his best game for last, sporting a one-under 71, good for 10th place, on the third day. Freshman Sean Richards tied for 20th after posting an identical score to Wunderlich.  

The golf team’s next stop was Bethlehem, P.A., for the 2023 Lehigh Invitational, beginning on Oct. 20.  

Iona shot 15-over as a team on day one, falling ten strokes behind the host school, Lehigh University. Wunderlich and Richards shot two over in the opener, combining for six birdies on the afternoon. Their performance led to a 15th place tie on the leaderboard.  

After placing seventh on the first day, Iona’s squad moved up one spot after concluding the event at +17 in round two.  

Wunderlich and Richards once again paced the Gaels, ending within the top-20. Henderson tallied the team’s only eagle, which ended up improving his first round score by one stroke. Senior Parker Smith was the leader in birdies on day two with four.  

Iona’s golf program was back in New York for their culminating event, the 2023 Veterans Intercollegiate, in Southampton, Long Island, on Oct. 30-31. 

A trio of Gael golfers tabbed top-11 individual finishes behind eventual winner, Long Island University.  

Henderson and Richards each scored two-under 70s in the first round, combining for nine birdies. Graduate student Michael Sosik similarly started strong with a one-over 73 in the first.  

The second round posed a tough challenge for all 12 competing teams as the weather worsened throughout. Despite the new threat, Wunderlich posted an even par 72 and tied with Richards for seventh place.  

Iona managed to keep their second place spot from the day prior, which ultimately became their best finish in the fall season.  

 

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Robert Hughes, Sports Editor

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