The Sonoma State Men’s Golf team tee’d off for the first time for their 2015-2016 campaign last week at the Oredigger Invitational that held as the NCAA National Preview. The tournament was hosted by the Green Valley Ranch golf course in Denver, Colorado, the same course where the Men’s Golf National Championship tournament will take place in May 2016.
Seniors Brandon Lee, Nicholas Daniels and Kenny Maroney led the way for Sonoma State in the tournament, along with juniors Justin Shulker and Mathew Potter, with Potter making his debut for the Sonoma State golf team.
The Seawolves could not put their shots together, posting scores of 291-288-309, a plus-24 mark for the 54-hole tournament, finishing 15th out of the 22-team field.
Kenny Maroney led the Seawolves, finishing 39th overall.
Being the CCAA freshman golfer of the year in 2013, Shulker tied teammate Daniels for 49th.
Potter’s debut led to a final score of 233, plus-17 finishing at 89th overall out of the 110 competitors.
All CCAA and all-west region golfer Lee had a disappointing start to the season, finishing 78th overall with a score of 228, plus-12 for the tournament.
Even though the scorecards weren’t impressive, Lee is proud of the way the team golfed in Colorado.
“I am proud of the resiliency we showed; Nobody played well, we had bad breaks all week and still kept fighting,” said Lee.
Lee sees the many things the Seawolves can improve on going into the season that he hopes will end with a National Title.
“We can improve on our strategies and maybe we were a bit too aggressive but we can build on the fact that it was a tough field and we fought hard,” said Lee.
Kenny Maroney came out firing on day one of the tournament putting together a solid day on the course shooting a career low 66.
Maroney was on top of the leaderboard and in the clubhouse after his career day and ended up standing as the tournament low.
Maroney’s commitment to his game in the off-season and laser-focus helped him on day one.
“My focus was at an all time high for my career round, I trusted my putting along with my game plan which helped me succeed in that round,” said Maroney.
Even though Maroney dominated in round one, it ultimately led to his demise in the tournament.
He would eventually shoot a 79 on day two and a 76 in the final round where he finished 39th overall with a score of 221 at 5 over par.
“Going into round two, I was trying to not let my previous round fixate my other rounds,” said Maroney. “I didn’t trust my game plan and my focus was off due to my first round which hurt me overall.”
Maroney vows to learn from the mistakes he made in the late rounds of the tournament and build off the positives he saw in the first tournament of a long season.
“Its a huge positive to get exposure to the course we hope to win a National Championship on,” said Maroney. “We haven’t done a preview before and it was great to see where you stacked up against the best in the nation.”
The Seawolves’ golf team will try to move on from a not so stellar performance when they travel to Las Cruces, New Mexico for the NCAA regional preview at The University Golf Club on Sept. 29th.
The Seawolves will then return home to host the Sonoma State Invitational at Foxtail Golf Course in Rohnert Park on Monday, Oct. 12th.