Penn College Golfers Set Sights on Championships
The key to winning championships is peaking at the right time, and Pennsylvania College of Technology golf coach Matt Haile said there's no better time to do so than now.
"We started off pretty strong with a win at our home course, but Mont Alto was ahead of us by several strokes (after that) and we were consistent with taking second. I hope next week our guys peak and play their best because I think they left several shots out there in the regular season. I hope they're saving it for the end," he said.
Taking to the Penn State University Blue Course for the Wildcats on Monday and Tuesday in the Penn State University Athletic Conference and United States Collegiate Athletic Association championships will be seniors Eric Schall (Jersey Shore), Dean Bell (Schwenksville), junior Kurt Linhart (Zionsville), sophomore Dan Kramer (Avon, Conn.) and freshmen Chad Vuocolo (Lock Haven) and Alex Howe (Lake Ariel).
Schall finished second individually two years ago when Penn College captured its sixth straight conference championship. Last season, the team finished third in the PSUAC and fourth in the USCAA.
Since the season ended Sept. 28, for the most part players have been idled because of the wet weather, but Haile said they've worked hard throughout the regular season and "they've got to come ready to play."
"We have some guys who definitely have the potential to be top five or top 10, or even win it," Haile said, noting that defending champ Penn State Mont Alto is the team to beat.
"It is two days, so you've got to go out there and stay focused for two rounds. You can go out and have a great round the first day, but the second day you never know. A lot of these guys aren't used to playing two rounds," the coach said.
"Of the six guys who I'm going to have playing, only two haven't played the course before (Howe and Vuocolo), but golf is in their blood and they're used to competition in tournament play," he said. "They're all capable of shooting in the 70s and lower 80s. They have it in them. It's just a matter of staying focused for two days and keeping the big scores to a minimum.
"Looking at the forecast, we're going to have great weather and I think the course sets up well for our guys. There are some challenging holes, but there are some holes where, if you do spray it a little, you can still score well," Haile said of the 6,500-yard course.
"I expect them to play well and to peak up there at the championships," he added. "They're well on their way and something good is going to happen."