Though the golf team may not play that much this fall, it certainly doesn’t lack talent.
The Bombers top three golfers are all returning for their third or fourth seasons and will help position a team looking to win a fourth consecutive team title.
For most tournaments, head coach Dan Wood and his assistant coach, Sheri Wood, will travel with five of the 10 golfers on the team. The golfers who compete in these matches will be picked based on the results of their intra-squad tournament at the Ithaca Country Club that took place this weekend. The top five golfers with the lowest rounds in the tournament will play this fall.
Wood said the goal of the first few weeks back on campus will be important to this year’s season. He said he wants to get the newest players to adapt to their new practice environment.
“Our first weekend will be an opportunity for new players to familiarize themselves with the course,” he said. “Also, it gives [my wife and me] the opportunity to watch some of the players we haven’t seen play since last fall. All of our preseason preparation will be focused on trying to get the best players identified so they can make the trip to St. Lawrence.”
Juniors Sharon Li and Kelsey Baker and senior Amanda Failla hold the top three spots on the team this season. Fighting for the final slots will be junior Taylor MacDonald and sophomore Taylor Reeves.
The team is also adding three freshmen to the roster. Wood said even his newest players, Kimberly Wong, Lisa Calcasola and Mary Rooker, will all be given the same opportunity to make the top five slots and travel with the team this season.
The team as a whole hopes to lower its stroke average this season by improving upon its putting consistency. This is why the golfers will work with St. John Fisher College’s coach to help improve their short game and develop their technique on the green.
Senior Amanda Failla said the players need to help one another improve their putting so the team will be difficult to beat, especially in matches later in the season.
“Putting is probably the most important part of a golf game and could really help us lower our stroke average,” she said. “Once we get our putting down, everything else will hopefully just click, and then we can all bond and work as a team and ultimately succeed.”
The less that the golfers have to worry about their performance on the green, the fewer putts they will ultimately make. This is an easy way for the team to drop strokes in tournaments and improve its season averages. Wood knows this and has a vision to make it happen.
Wood said he hopes his team can improve its team average to around a 322 — 80.5 per player — at the tournaments. That means each of the top four scores combined must drop by a total of seven strokes.
That much improvement could propel the Bombers to a top-10 ranking in Division III, as the Bombers currently sit at No. 15 in the nation.
Kelsey Baker, who will play her third year on the team, is a veteran golfer always looking to improve for the benefit of her team. Her goal is to perform on the national level this year — together as a team.
“My number-one goal is for us to make the NCAA tournament,” she said. “We came so close last year. It was amazing that Sharon [Li] could go and compete there … Everyone on the team was so proud of her, she did really well, but this year I think it would be really nice if we all went as a team.”
Amanda Failla, a fourth year golfer, agreed.
“We want to improve as much as we can,” Failla said. “We have to do well this fall so we have a good spot on the leaderboard heading into the spring season.”
The Bomber’s season begins in Canton, N.Y., at the Saint Lawrence Invitational Sept. 7–8, and ends in Springfield, Ohio, only seven weeks later.