Rice University’s Student Newspaper — Since 1916

Thursday, August 18, 2022 — Houston, TX

Golf has rough start, now travels to Arlington

By Paul Fitzgerald     9/16/10 7:00pm

Looking to get off to a fast start for their fall campaign, the golf team stumbled to a 13th-place finish at the Sam Hall Intercollegiate, hosted last Monday and Tuesday by the University of Southern Mississippi at the Hattiesburg Country Club in Hattiesburg, Miss. Despite their performance, Rice's improvement throughout the event gave cause for optimism. This year's version of the golf team features two freshmen hoping to replace some of the production of last year's seniors, Christopher Brown (Baker '10) and Michael Buttacavoli (Martel '10), and Jade Scott, last year's Conference USA freshman of the year, who transferred to Texas A&M University following the spring season. Head Coach Drew Scott knew replacing the talent would be a difficult task, and the first round of the Sam Hall Intercollegiate only confirmed his suspicions.

"Getting a couple new guys in the lineup is always a process," Scott said. "We made some progress, and I think the freshmen took everything well."

Senior Michael Whitehead, coming off an appearance at the 2010 U.S. Amateur Golf Tournament at Chambers Bay Golf Course in University Place, Wash. on Aug. 23-29, led the Owls with a one-over 72. Whitehead would go on to post a second-round 74 and final-round 71 en route to a tie for 40th. Rice's first-round score of 301 left them at the bottom of the leaderboard.



Despite their poor opening performance, the Owls improved in the second round, led by senior Robert Burrow's 71 and junior Erik Mayer's 72. Burrow and Mayer would go on to finish in a tie for 62nd and sole possession of 70th, respectively. Rice's second-round performance would leave them near the bottom of the leaderboard again.

Freshman Jeff Wibawa, one of two newcomers to the team, shot a final-round 68, the Owls' low round of the event, to move him into a tie for 40th. Despite playing in his first tournament, the calm and collected player from Encino, Calif. played without nerves.

"I wasn't really nervous in any the rounds," Wibawa said. "I was able to hit the fairway in the latter rounds and that was the key to my score."

If the Owls' most highly touted recruit's performance in his first collegiate tournament is any indication, the team should have found another solid contributor. Fellow freshman Chris Contreras shot a cumulative 227 and his score counted for two of the three rounds.

While Scott acknowledged the Owls were disappointed in their finish, he thought next week's event was the right situation for the team to succeed.

"The finish wasn't what we wanted, but we made good progress," Scott said. "We're looking forward to this week and traveling to Arlington, [Texas,] where we won last year, so hopefully we can use those good feelings."

Rice will look to continue their improvement at the UTA/Waterchase Invitational hosted by the University of Texas-Arlington. The event, held at the Waterchase Golf Club, will be one of two where the Owls will have a chance to defend their title from last year. While three of the five Rice golfers to travel to Arlington last year are no longer on the team, this year's squad still is eager to make it two straight Rice victories in this tournament.

"We were able to win at Arlington last year, so that's obviously the goal again," Wibawa said. "As a team, our play improved throughout the tournament so we want to continue that this coming tournament.



More from The Rice Thresher

SPORTS 7/25/22 12:16pm
Garcia drafted by the Rays in the 14th round

Pitcher Roel Garcia became the latest Owl to turn pro on Tuesday when he was drafted by the Tampa Bay Rays in round 14 of the MLB Draft. According to Garcia, he barely remembers the moment he heard his name called because he was so overwhelmed with joy.

NEWS 6/16/22 6:36pm
Michigan professor Amy Dittmar named Rice’s next provost

Amy Dittmar, the senior vice provost for academic and budgetary affairs and a professor of economics and finance at the University of Michigan, has been selected as Rice’s new provost, incoming president Reginald DesRoches announced Thursday. DesRoches, the current provost, will become Rice’s president on July 1, and Dittmar will start August 1.

SPORTS 6/13/22 2:41pm
Forbes takes silver at NCAAs

On Thursday, sophomore distance runner Grace Forbes proved to the rest of the country what her Conference USA opponents and Rice teammates have known for years – she’s one of the fastest runners in the country. Competing at the NCAA championships in Eugene, Ore. for the second consecutive year, Forbes, took second place in the 10,000-meter, the best finish by an Owl at the NCAAs in over a decade. According to Forbes, who missed the indoor season and the first month of the outdoor season due to extreme fatigue later diagnosed as an autoimmune disorder, the result was a testament to the work she’s put in to overcome an incredibly challenging year.


Comments

Please note All comments are eligible for publication by The Rice Thresher.