The Muhlenberg men’s golf team had nowhere to go but up after placing seventh at the 2005 Centennial Conference Championships. And that’s just where the team
went, nearly reaching the pinnacle of the CC in 2008.
Carpenter, a two-year team captain, tied his career-low round by shooting a 73 on the second day of the CC Championships. He carded a 74 at the Wesley Invitational.
The Mules led the CC Championships by four strokes
after the first two rounds, and even though they were overtaken by McDaniel on the final day, they still finished second. It was the third straight year of improvement for Muhlenberg, after finishing fifth in 2006 and fourth in 2007.
In spite of the near-miss in their final competition, the Mules had an outstanding year, winning three tournaments for the first time since the 2000-01 campaign.
Muhlenberg gave a sign of things to come at its opening tournament, the Wesley Invitational. Sending the same five golfers as they did in the fall of 2006, the Mules improved by 10 strokes and finished fourth.
Junior Bill Snow became the first Muhlenberg player to win medalist honors since 2004 when he captured the Susquehanna Fall Invitational with a one-over par 73. Five days later, classmate Geoffrey Kelleman joined him in the winner’s circle, leading the Mules to the team title at the Messiah Falcon Classic.
Muhlenberg closed out the fall season by winning its own tournament for the first time since 2000, breaking a string of four consecutive second-place finishes. Sophomore Biff Slocum just missed becoming the Mules’ third different medalist, shooting a 75, one stroke off the lead.
The team got off to a slow start in the spring, but turned it around in the last week before the CC Championships. Muhlenberg won the 19-team Susquehanna Invitational by four strokes over the host school and finished just two strokes behind first-place Lehigh at the annual Lehigh Valley Cup.
Depth was a big key to the success, as seven of the nine team members shot a round of 76 or lower. Slocum had nine rounds in the 70s and finished with a team-leading average of 78.5. Kelleman averaged 78.9 strokes, an improvement of 2.6 from his sophomore year, and Snow bettered his average two strokes to 79.1. It was only the second time in the last 15 years that the Mules had three golfers average in the 70s.
Freshman Zachary Oyer and sophomore Chris Trapp both averaged 80.3 strokes per round, while Garrett Carpenter – the lone senior on the squad – played all 20 rounds and finished with a stroke average of 81.8.