Even with rainfall of historical proportions this season, the Elizabethtown College men’s golf team stayed on par. The players posted solid results while they weathered one of the rainiest seasons in recent memory.
“We lost half a dozen practices due to the storms, hurricanes and flooding. Hershey Country Club East had to close half of the back nine for two and a half weeks,” first- year Brett Williams said. “I only played the entire back nine two times before we hosted our match,” he added.
The consistent performances posted by first-year Ryan Laudeman paced the squad this fall. Laudeman registered a twelfth place finish in his first match as a Blue Jay at the Chestnut Hill Fall Classic. In addition, he scored within the 70s four times this season.
“I like to take my game one shot at a time. Golf is such a mental game and can frustrate you very quickly…whenever I hit a bad shot, I just forget about it and move on to the next one,” Laudeman said.
Laudeman and Williams were the top two finishers for the Jays at the Albright Tri-Match on Oct. 10. Laudeman recorded a 79 to lead the team. Williams tied his best score of the season with an 84 and posted the second highest score for the Jays.
Laudeman displayed his consistent approach when he rebounded from a rough performance at the seventh hole. “I just really put it behind me and put a good stretch of holes together,” Laudeman said. “I wasn’t hitting many greens, so I had to rely on my chipping and putting to get me where I had to be,” he said.
Williams used a course management style to attack the links at Albright. His approach was to measure the distance to the hole, focus on the accuracy of his shots and lay up to distances which put him in a prime position for future shots.
“I found a great driver swing. I think I hit the fairway of almost every hole…in the middle portion of the round, I got into a really good groove with my irons,” Williams said.
Senior Drew Hanaoka concluded his round one stroke shy of Williams with an 85 and finished in third place. The highlight of his season came in the Blue Jay Classic on Oct. 6. Hanaoka recorded a 77 and captured thirteenth place in that event.
Given the performances of the first-years, combined with veteran leadership, the team has a bright future. “I am very impressed with the team this year,” senior Kent Hersom said. “It’s a difficult transition from high school to college golf, and I think the team has a lot of potential in the lowerclassmen.”
The team has also developed chemistry in combination with their skill and leadership. “I have really enjoyed golfing with the team. There is a great team atmosphere going on, and I’ve definitely made some great friends for my entire college career,” Williams said.
Now that the fall season is over, the team can make adjustments and prepare to defend their Commonwealth Conference Title in the spring.
Hersom is entering his last year as a Blue Jay, and he realizes the significance of the season. “It is definitely sad to realize that I don’t have many collegiate tournaments left, and I will miss the team atmosphere.”
With a successful fall season behind them, the team is looking forward to continue their momentum in the spring.
Hersom has a few goals for the upcoming spring season. “I hope to just go out and be confident on the course and do the best I can. I think we have a strong team, and I hope we can focus and come together to win some tournaments.”