The Lehigh Men’s Golf team walks up hole one during practice on Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019, at the Steel Club. The team is currently composed of 5 freshman and 2 seniors. (Adele Hancock/B&W Staff)

Men’s golf adjusts to young team with five freshmen

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With just two returning seniors and five new freshmen, the Lehigh men’s golf team is adjusting to the new dynamic of a young program. 

Last year, the team was comprised of only upperclassmen, but senior Ryan Kelly said he is confident that the younger players will gain exposure and continue to improve as the season progresses. 

“The dynamic is a lot different than last year, obviously, where we had an old team,” Kelly said. “But the freshmen have adjusted really well.” 

Kelly said the biggest difference is the level of experience, but he believes the team has the ability to overcome this challenge.

Freshman David Hurley agrees.

“We don’t have the option of having a lot of experienced guys out there playing in tournaments,” Hurley said. “The team is so young, and for us freshmen, it’s an opportunity to learn on the job.” 

Freshman Alex Aurora said captains Kelly and senior Owen Quinn are essential in helping the team adjust to life and golf at Lehigh. The two seniors offer advice about what the coaches are looking for and answered the athletes’ other questions.

Hurley said Kelly and Quinn complement each other well as leaders. He said they are both great examples of what the freshmen class should strive to be.

“I think (Quinn) is very vocal, and (Kelly) leads more by example,” Hurley said. “Owen talks to us more individually about our own game and how we can improve.” 

As they continue to compete, Kelly said he hopes the team will maintain its development and is ready for the spring. 

“We would like to continue to get better and put up some good team rounds,” Kelly said. “Hopefully, (we can) win a tournament– maybe a couple of tournaments. I think we could potentially do that.” 

Aurora said it is exciting to have such a young team, and the group is slowly becoming more comfortable, embracing its new identity and learning how to use the identity to its advantage.

Kelly said the fall season is critical in helping the players prepare for the spring. 

“The regular season is key for you to play well so you feel good going into Patriot Leagues at the end of the year,” Kelly said. “I am excited about the potential of our team.” 

Hurley said he is also looking forward to the potential of the team and has already seen growth from the first two tournaments.

“I think we took a massive step forward from our first and second tournament,” Hurley said. “I think we are going to keep going in the right direction.”

The team will continue to compete in its fall season when it plays in the UConn Invitational at Greathorse on Sept. 29.

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