Posted: Dec 18, 2018
The Oglethorpe men's golf team closed out the fall season with second and third round scores of 292 and 288 to build on for next spring.
"Due to circumstances this year I kept having to throw freshmen into the deep end of the pool and hope they learned fast. I was trying to delay playing so many young, inexperienced players, but circumstances forced me to go deeper into the bench each week," commented head coach Jim Owen.
Oglethorpe began the fall season with a win at the SAA Fall Preview, but that was the season highlight. Four consecutive disappointing finishes followed the tie for first at the SAA.
"We finally showed some life in Destin at the Golfweek Invitational," added Owen. "We closed the final two rounds with rounds of 292 and 288 on the Raven Course, which was much more to our standards." The Petrels struggled with consistency all through the fall season and have to get that behind them if they want to contend for their 13th SAA title in Nashville in April.
Senior All-American Jake Arnett won twice individually in the fall. Arnett won the opening event with rounds of 65-71 and an 8-under 136 total, and followed it up a month later winning the Oglethorpe-Royal Lakes Fall Invitational with a 67-69, 8-under 136 total at the Stormy Petrels home event. Arnett is ranked the 14th-best player in the region and No. 37 nationally through five tournaments and 13 rounds, boasting a scoring average of 72.46.
A pair of freshmen, Isley McClure and Justin Rickerson, finished the fall season strong and were instrumental in the good team play in Sandestin and at the season ending individual event in Rome, Georgia. McClure had two top 20 finishes in the fall and is the second highest-ranked Petrel at No. 44 in the region and No. 131 nationally. Rickerson ended the fall season with his first career top 10, finishing sixth of 97 players at the Chick-fil-A Collegiate Invitational at Stonebridge Golf Club. Sophomore Anthony DeRosa earned three top 25 finishes on the fall season in his five starts with his best finish at the NCAA Fall Preview at Keene's Trace in Lexington, Kentucky, finishing 16th of the 90 players in the field. DeRosa checks in at No. 57 in the regional rankings.
The spring season will be pivotal for the Petrels to get back into the championship hunt. The team opens with two events in March: the Callaway Gardens Collegiate Invitational March 3-5 followed quickly by the Petrels own Jekyll Island Collegiate Invitational March 14-17.