Lafayette Golf Set for Spring Season

Go Leopards! Jim Hutnik and seniors Garett Copp, Tom Hennessy and Jeremiah O'Neill
Jim Hutnik and seniors Garett Copp, Tom Hennessy and Jeremiah O'Neill

March 2, 2005

EASTON, Pa. (www.lafayette.edu) - The Lafayette golf team enters the spring 2005 season led by several seasoned upperclassmen and a number of freshmen and sophomores who are looking to make an impact. The Leopards are coached by Jim Hutnik, who is in his third season.

Senior Jeremiah O'Neill (Newburyport, Mass.) posted an average round of 79 in 2004 to lead the team, and had impressive outings to open and close the fall season. O'Neill finished t-8th out of 95 golfers at the Colgate Invitational, firing a second-round 73 en route to a 149 for the event. He tied for 11th at the Hofstra Fall Invite with a consistent 76-75-151. O'Neill had a 75.5 average in the fall of 2003.

Garett Copp (Poland, Maine) heads into his final spring after recording a 79.5 average in 11 rounds last fall. His best showing was tied for 29th of 75 competitors at the Don Mershon Classic, where he posted a two-day total of 158.

Freshman Brandon Mitchel (Port Jefferson, N.Y.) opened his collegiate career with a 79.1 average in seven rounds, competing at the Colgate Invitational, Cornell Invitational and Hofstra Fall Invite.

Senior Tom Hennessy (Sparta, N.J.) competed in just one event in the fall, the season-ending Bucknell Invitational, but should be a team leader this spring. Tom Palmer (Mahwah, N.J.), the only junior on the squad, posted the Leopards' low score of 78 as Lafayette finished second at the St. Peter's Quad Match.

A trio of sophomores, Kyle Manjuck (Durham, Conn.), Dave Rahal (Mahwah, N.J.) and Billy Simmermacher (Scarsdale, N.Y.) will be aiming to improve on their performances from their freshman season. They will be joined by first-year players Pat Kelly (Rochester, N.Y.) and Clint Smith (Mechanicsburg, Pa).

Hutnik's crew will open its spring schedule with an appearance in a quad match at the Orange County (Fla.) National Golf Center during the week Lafayette's spring break, March 13-19.

"We're looking forward to the warm weather down south and getting outside to fine-tune our game for the home stretch, leading to the Patriot League Championships," Hutnik said.

"We have good senior leadership and some experienced golfers, but as always, the younger players have to step up," Hutnik continued. "We're looking to continuously improve and peak in the last week of April."

The first week of April will bring the George Washington Invitational at Swan Point Country Club. The following weekend, Easton's Center Valley Country Club will host the Lafayette Invitational on April 8-9.

The Navy Spring Invitational, which will be held at the Naval Academy Country Club on April 16-17, kicks off a nine day stretch that will include six days of golf for the Leopards. Appearances at the St. Peter's Peacock Invitational and the Lehigh Valley Quad Match on consecutive days will prepare the team for the league championship.

This year's Patriot League tournament will be held at the Bucknell Country Club in Lewisburg on April 23-24. O'Neill was Lafayette's top finisher last year, as he tied for 17th with a score of 239. The Leopards finished sixth overall.

The season comes to a close on the first two days of May with a trip to the Scotty Duncan Memorial hosted by the University of Delaware.

 

 

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