By Sebastian Moronta Blanco, Staff Writer
UMass Dartmouth joined eight other New England teams at the RIC Men’s Spring Invitational at the Valley Country Club in Warwick, R.I., hosted by Rhode Island College.
The Corsairs placed fifth overall, with Jared Fadding putting up the best performance of the team and his best performance this season, with a score of 78 (+6).
The event was postponed in late March due to inclement weather, and was subsequently shortened to a single round.
The Corsairs total score was 320 (+32), with Western New England taking the title putting up a score of 300 (+12).
Western New England and Rhode Island College took up the individual athletes in the top three, with RIC’s Austin Cilley being the only individual to shoot under par with a score of 71, followed by Western New England’s Matt Fontaine and John Abbott shooting 72 and 73 respectively.
For the Corsairs, Jared Fadding was the lowest scorer at ended tied for 14th place, followed by Mike Bryon with a 79-shot round, tied for 17th. Jackson Mitchell also set a new personal record shooting 81, his lowest this spring, and Bryce Mitchell rounded out the corsairs in the top 25, shooting 82 leaving him tied for 24th.
The final Corsair on the roster was Jonathan Soule, making his first appearance in the top five for the team. He shot 84 and finished 38th overall.
There were 49 individuals competing at the event, and UMass’s Fadding and Byron were two of only 18 to shoot below 80 in the round.
Valley Country Club played at 6,758 yards for the round, and has been up and running since the 1920’s when British architect W.H. Follet, protégé of renowed golf course architect Donald Ross, developed a 9-hole golf course on the land.
The Victorian structure that is now the country club was once a personal residence at the advent of the 20th Century, and remains one of the most successful clubs in Rhode Island after 90 years and numerous expansions and renovations.
This is the Corsairs 6th time placing in the top five as a team for the 2016-2017 season under head coach Joel Baptista, who has been with the team since 2006.
In the fall, Baptista was honored by the New England Intercollegiate Golf Association as he was named the 2016 winner of the George McCullough Award, the annual NEIGA coaches’ award as voted upon by fellow coaches.
After the Newport National Classic this past Tuesday, the Corsairs will be appearing at just two more regular season events.
The Wildcat Spring Invitational on April 22 at the Cranston Country Club in Cranston, Rhode Island and the Blazer invitational at Orchards Golf Course in South Hadley, Mass., on April 24.