The Gannon University men’s golf team wrapped up its fall season by competing in the PSAC Championships in Hershey, Pa., but things didn’t go as well as the Knights had hoped.
Specifically, Gannon wound up seventh among eight teams at the Hershey Country Club course after finishing the first day in sixth place.
Indiana (Pa.) won the tournament by two strokes over West Chester, 603 to 605. Indiana’s Max Kirsch took home medalist honors with rounds of 78 and 68 for a two-day total of 146.
Gannon coach Dustin Coleman said the fall season was disappointing for the team, but was successful for junior Matt Barto.
Coleman said Barto had a strong fall as an individual, leading the team with a 75.5 stroke average.
Barto had three top-10 finishes and a season-best second-place finish at Gannon’s own Howard “Bud” Elwell Fall Classic with rounds of 72-73.
“Matt will look to continue his good play in the spring with hopes of qualifying for the NCAA Regional as an individual,” Coleman said.
After the first round at the PSAC championships, Barto sat in fifth place among all individuals with a 74.
But on Sunday’s final round, Barto shot 81 and wound up 20th at 155.
Senior Daegan Wall experienced a reversal of sorts, as his opening round of 81 left him tied for 25th, but he rebounded to shoot 71 — his lowest round of the season — Sunday to climb all the way to a tie for 14th place.
Wall admitted the year was a rough one for the team and him personally.
It took him awhile to find his swing and some confidence to go along with it. However, he was able to play well and still enjoy the season.
“Since it was my senior year I wanted to enjoy every moment of the fall season,” he said. “This was the same situation at PSACs.
“Even though I played bad the first round I still enjoyed it. However, playing well the second round was definitely more enjoyable.”
Gannon’s Billy Colbert finished tied for 31st at 84-79-163 while Billy Clark shared 34th place with an 83-86-169.
Jordan Henry rounded out the Knights’ PSAC contingent by finishing 38th at 91-85-176.
In addition to finishing 20th, Barto received the Men’s Golf Champion Scholar Award for his excellence in and out of the classroom.
As of right now, Coleman is focusing on the next season for him and the boys.
“For our team to qualify for our fifth consecutive NCAA Regional we would need a very strong spring and possibly one or two victories,” Coleman said.
“As of now we are on the outside looking in so we’ll need to play a lot better if we want to have a chance.”
That chance will come with practice in the offseason.