Gannon golf teams begin competition


Gannon Sports

Sophomore Connor Bennink places first at the Malone-Glenmoor Invitational Sept. 14-15.

Alex Pepke, Sports Editor

Gannon University men’s and women’s golf teams have begun competing.
Yes, you read that correctly. Even though the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) canceled all competition this fall, the Knights have been able to get out on the course and participate in tournaments. This is because they are still allowed to compete with other teams, just not in PSAC-sanctioned events.
The men’s team placed fifth out of 14 teams Tuesday at the Doc Spragg Fall Invite in Findley, Ohio, with a team score of 880.
The University of Indianapolis won with a team score of 857.
For Gannon, Abe Holmes shot a team- best 214, which was good enough for fourth place individually. Connor Bennink placed seventh overall with a score of 215.
Clayton Skoff (14th), Ethan Bennett (T53rd) and Jacob Mertz (69th) round out the top five finishers for the Knights.
The men’s team also placed second among five teams Sept. 14-15 at the Malone-Glenmoor Invitational at Glenmoor Country Club in Canton, Ohio, with a team score of 906.
Bennink took home first place in the tournament, shooting a 218 in the three-round event.
Bennett tied for third place with a score of 224, and Holmes came in ninth after shooting 226.
Mertz, who finished 27th overall at the Malone-Glenmoor Invitational, said he thought the team performed well during its first tournament of the year.
“We played pretty solid the final two rounds, but we all know that we have the firepower to put better scores out there,” he said.
These were the only two events planned for the men’s team this fall.
On the other side, the women’s team finished third among eight schools that competed at the Cumberland Trail Golf Classic in Pataskala, Ohio, over the weekend.
The Knights were led by freshman Sarah White with a score of 150, which enabled her to place second overall in the tournament.
Samantha Gaffney had the second-best score for Gannon with a 160, which got her 10th overall.
Madison Gardner and Roxanne Garceau  each shot a 165 over 36 holes, which was good for 18th place.
The women’s team has three more events scheduled this fall, with a one-day event – the Walsh Invitational, at North Canton, Ohio — on Sept. 29 being the next one.
Their last two events will be the William Beall Fall Classic in Findlay, Ohio, and Tiffin Fall Invitational in Tiffin, Ohio.
Both the men’s and women’s schedules follow all guidance from Gannon Athletics and the NCAA’s plans for a return to play. It is also in accordance with all local and state regulations.
Golf is one of the only sports that can continue to play due to the lack of contact between competitors. Social distancing is made easy for golfers.
Mertz said the team stayed prepared and took advantage of the chance to compete, even if it was just two tournaments.
“We are practicing and playing as much as we can so that we are as prepared as possible for each of our tournaments,” he said.
“We need to take hold of the opportunity to play in these tournaments because of the shortened golf season.”
The athletes are regularly being tested by Gannon to make sure they are not being exposed to or potentially spreading the virus.
The athletes get tested before leaving for the tournament and are tested immediately when they return to campus.
Men’s and women’s golf remain the only two athletic teams with any events on the schedule for Gannon this fall.

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