his weekend was the conclusion of the season for Elizabethtown College’s golf team. The season concluded with the Commonwealth Conference Championships, which were held at Hershey Country Club’s East Course. Stevenson University finished on top, and Etown grabbed sixth place. Sophomore Ryan Laudeman scored a total of 160 (+18) and took home a tie for sixth for the Blue Jays.
Another top finisher for the Blue Jays was first-year Austin Blanco. He tied for 14th with a total score of 164, 22 over par. Blanco was happy with his finish. “I was definitely pleased with my performance in our tournament,” he said. “I was having a rough season and wasn’t shooting well at all, so going into the tournament I was very nervous.”
Laudeman, however, was hoping for a better individual finish. “It was nice to improve on my ninth place finish from last year, but I was playing some pretty good golf and was hoping for my first top five finish for an all-conference first team bid,” he said. Although Laudemen missed out on the first name recognition, he was named to the second team.
Coming into the championship meet, Blanco said that the team was not too nervous because Hershey is the team’s home course. After the first day of the tournament, Laudeman was in sixth place with a 78 (+7), and Blanco rounded out the top ten with a 81 (+10). The rest of the Blue Jay roster — first-year Adam Amspacher, sophomore Ryan Forbes and junior Austin Good — collected scores of 89, 92 and 93 on day one, respectively.
Laudeman kept his six stroke distance between him and Messiah College’s Matt Burkhart, the winner of the championship. Blanco fell slightly from his tenth spot during day two to settle in at 14th. The rest of the Blue Jays rounded out the top 50. Amspacher scored an overall 181, good for 31st. Forbes settled in behind Amspacher at 32nd, tying three other golfers with a score of 182. Good tied for 42nd place with a 189.
Both Laudeman and Blanco stated that the pin placement made the course more difficult. “A lot of the pins were on the ridges, so it was hard to be aggressive with shots or putts,” Laudeman said. However, the team was excited to be competing in the CC Championships overall. “We were all hoping to play a little bit better, but it was a fun year, and we look forward to making a run at the title next year,” Laudeman said.