For the past six years, the Ithaca College golf team has taken home the Empire 8 Championship. This year, the team is hoping to do the same, but for a reason that is closer to home.
It will be the first time the championship has been played at the Country Club of Ithaca and the last time the Blue and Gold will compete in the Empire 8 Conference. After this season, the team will join the Liberty League.
To prepare for the tournament, the team has been working on some of the fundamentals of golf, such as grips and making good contact with the ball, and has been spending more time on the course.
Senior Kim Wong said competing on its own course will give the South Hill squad a boost.
“It’s going to be an exciting and special weekend since we’re playing on home turf, and our team will be able to use that as an advantage,” Wong said. “The front nine is a little narrower than the back, so I think that if everyone makes good decisions off the tee, we will have a better chance of shooting low scores.”
So far this season, the Bombers have placed third or higher at all three of their invitationals. Head coach Molly Braid said she thinks that shooting low scores is a very obtainable goal for the team.
“I would like to see a total elimination of big numbers on our score cards and for the team to shoot their average or slightly lower over the two days,” Braid said.
The team is treating this championship just like any other tournament where the main goal is to improve and do the best it can.
Freshman Peyton Greco said this goal is attainable by setting a positive mindset for the whole weekend so they don’t feel all the pressure that comes from a championship.
“My mindset going into the championship is to treat it like it’s another round of golf,” Greco said. “I’m not going to get too excited about the good shots, and I’m not going to get too down on myself for the bad shots because there is always more golf left. I’m going to give it everything I have, and I’m going to take this tournament one shot at a time and stay in the present. If I do that, I think I’ll end up right where I want to be.”
After the championship, the team will have one more tournament and then the spring season to play before switching to the Liberty League. Junior Indiana Jones said the team is excited and ready to make the switch.
“Empire 8 has been a wonderful league to be in, and Ithaca is so grateful to be in it, but we look forward to our new adventures in the Liberty League,” Jones said.