Gaels look to keep energy up during next tournament

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Gaels look to keep energy up during next tournament

Matthew Chaves, Sports Editor

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            The Iona College golf team wrapped up the Ryan T. Lee Memorial Collegiate, their first tournament of the season, with a sixth place ending although the team struggled toward the end of it. The team brought their A-game the first day but lacked the energy to keep it going the second, according to head coach Sean Burke.

“That starts with me,” Burke said. “We never got clicking and kind of played with that mindset for the day.”

The Gaels’ played relatively well as the team finished with a 292 (+18) stroke count overall, beating out all of the other Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference colleges. Monmouth University finished at 11th,Fairfield University at 13th, Manhattan College at 15th and St. Francis College finished last at 17th.

Junior Kritsarin Oukosavanna led the Gaels with a total score of 148 (+4), leaving him tied in 22nd place out of the individual golfers. Senior Oisin Devereux followed close as he finished with a total of 149 (+5), finishing tied in 25 place. Senior Matt Mirocco struggled the first day with a score of 79 (+7) but managed to close the gap the second day scoring 71 (-1), having a total of 150 (+6). He finished tied in 32place overall.

Iona got off to a slow start and never really rebounded, according to Burke.

“The ability to put those tough starting goals behind us [and] really get going is important,” Burke said. “That’s something we’ve struggled with in the past.”

The first round of the tournament is proof that they can compete in their matches, Burke claims. The second round helps with the motivation to get their head in the game and keep it there.

The history of this tournament and being able to play in it is a great start to the season, Burke explained.

Ryan T. Lee was a collegiate golfer who passed away in May 2011, and the Ryan T. Lee foundation was founded shortly after. It hosts the tournament annually as well as other events in memory of Lee.

“That in itself is enough of a reason to really have a special event,” Burke said.

Looking forward, the Gaels believe they can take on the best and come out on top. Their next tournament is the 2019 Iona-University College Dublin Challenge.

“UCD is a great program and being match, you never know,” Burke said. “This is a unique and awesome event and you’re never out of a match.”

There’s a lot of work ahead for the team, but enjoying the grind is important for the Gaels to achieve victory, according to Burke. While the goals on the course are prominent, the team holds academic and community based goals for themselves as well. A great set up for the players’ future is of the utmost importance.

“[We want] to pay back the privileges and great things we receive as a program to the Iona community and the community at large,” Burke said.