Rider 7th of 9 at MAAC Championships
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla.--The Rider University golf team participated at the three-day Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference championships in Florida Friday through Sunday.
After the final day of the 54-hole tournament, Rider placed seventh out of nine teams after shooting a 311. Rider opened with a 327 Friday and shot 314 on Saturday for a three-day total of 952, improving one shot and one place over the 2012 season.
“We did what we wanted and that was to improve from the day before,” said head coach Bob Whartenby. “We shot 311 which were three shots better than yesterday. The guys played well.”
The Broncs had seven birdies, 54 pars, 19 bogeys, eight double bogeys and two triple bogeys in the third round.
The 46 player tournament was held at Disney’s Palm Golf Course in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, a par-72, 7,011 yard venue.
For Rider, senior Evan McGrain (West Windsor/W. Windsor-Plainsboro South) finished in a tie for 23rd with a 236 after rounds of 79-81-76. McGrain had three of Rider’s seven birdies in the opening round on Friday and had nine birdies in the championship.
“Evan played very consistent all day and finished strong to shoot 76,” Whartenby said. “He was our low individual for the team.”
McGrain entered play 30th in the MAAC and averaged 80.46 in 13 rounds during the regular season. McGrain shot a low round of 73 twice this season, at the Lafayette Invitational and at the Peacock Invitational, finishing one shot out of a tie for the lead.
Sophomore Luke Liddell (Philadelphia, Pa./Father Judge) was 25th with a 237 after rounds of 81-79-77.
Liddell was one under par through 15 holes before a bogey, triple bogey and double bogey on the final three holes.
“Luke had a great flawless round going until 16,” Whartenby said. “He just made a couple of mental mistakes that compounded on 18. It was unfortunate but it was a learning experience.”
Liddell was 31st in the conference entering the championship and averaged 81.07 in 15 rounds this season. Liddell’s low round of the season came at the La Salle Invitational where he tied for seventh place after scoring a 75.
As a rookie, Liddell was 42nd after a three-round total of 258 at the 2012 MAAC championships. Liddell shot 85 on the final day after opening with rounds of 80 and 93.
Junior James Buttermark (Staten Island, N.Y/Monsignor Farrell) finished tied for 28th with a total of 239 after rounds of 83-81-75.
Buttermark and Liddell tied for the sixth most pars at the championship with 34.
Last season, Buttermark was 22nd at the MAAC championships (231) after earning All-MAAC honors with a seventh place finish (230) as a Rider rookie.
Sophomore Cole Clark (Califon/Voorhees), who entered the final day 22nd, finished 31st with a total of 241 after rounds of 85-73-83.
Clark had tied for the eighth best par three scoring average (3.25) and his nine birdies was tied with McGrain for the 10th most in the championship.
As a Rider rookie, Clark tied for 30th place after rounds of 80-78-81 (239) at the 2012 MAAC championships.
Bronc senior Beau Guarino (Burlington Township) finished 42nd after rounds of 84-86-85 for a three-day total of 255.
Guarino averaged 79.80 in 15 rounds this season with a low round of 74 at the Binghamton Invitational. Guarino’s best finish of the season was 21st out of 54 competitors at the Cornell Invitational.
Steve Burak (Fairfield) won the tournament by four shots with rounds of 69, 71 and 68.
Five-time defending champion Loyola University Maryland won the team championship (881) in come from behind fashion (from 10 shots down) with Iona College placing second (882) and Fairfield University (884) finishing third. Canisius College was fourth (916), followed by Manhattan College (927) and Saint Peter’s University (928), Rider University (952), Siena College (973) and Niagara University (985).
“This year we made a ton of progress and showed what a little experience can do,” Whartenby added. “We posted a lot better scores than last year and I'm hoping it just keeps trending in this direction.”
Last season, Rider finished eighth of nine teams with a team score of 953 after rounds of 314-316-323.
In 2011, Rider was eighth of nine teams with a three-round total of 977 (328-326-323).
In 2010, Rider was third (302-312-300) with a score of 914 and in 2009, the Broncs were sixth (941) after rounds of 304, 319 and 318.
In 2008, Rider was the runner-up with scores of 303-295-295, for a total of 893 and the Broncs were fifth in 2007 (921) with rounds of 306, 301 and 326.
Rider returns four letterwinners for the fall 2013 season.