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Muhlenberg College

Friday, March 27, 2009 - page 2

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Season Preview
men’s golf looks to complete climb to top

A few weeks ago, Muhlenberg men’s golf coach Rob Shutte sent out an e-mail to team members with a simple subject: Why not?

The e-mail listed things the team
Geoffrey Kelleman
Kelleman shot 80 or better in six of his seven fall rounds.
could do, in rhetorical question form, to improve its chances for success this spring season, which begins this weekend at the McDaniel Spring Invitational.

Improvement has been the hallmark of the Mules the last several years. They finished seventh at the Centennial Conference Championships in 2005 before moving up to fifth the next year and fourth in 2007. Last year, Muhlenberg led the CC tournament after the first two rounds but faltered on the final day and finished second.

The Mules also finished second at four of their six fall tournaments.

“Obviously you’d like to win,” commented senior Geoffrey Kelleman. “But when you’re playing in bigger tournament against good competition, sometimes it’s good to finish second.”

Muhlenberg has back four of the five golfers who were responsible for the second-place finish at the Centennial tournament last year. Sophomore Zachary Oyer led the team with a 77.0 stroke average in the fall, finishing in the top five in three tournaments. Not far behind was senior Bill Snow, whose 77.2 average was helped by a 70 in a medal-winning performance at the Gettysburg Invitational. Senior Geoffrey Kelleman (78.9) and junior Biff Slocum (79.6) also averaged in the 70s in the fall.

“The main thing is we need one guy to step up in that fifth spot,” said Kelleman.

Two of the top candidates are freshman Matthew Cohen and sophomore Jordan Carpenter. Cohen averaged 78.8 in four fall rounds, and Carpenter shot a 78 at Gettysburg.

The McDaniel Invitational will give the Mules a good idea where they stand, as all but one of the other CC teams will be participating, and it will be held at the site of the CC Championships. After that the team will compete in four more tournaments before returning to The Bridges Golf Club in Abbottstown, Pa., the last weekend in April to try to take that last step to a conference title.

“We learned last year that we’re good enough to compete. Coach always tells us we’re that good but I don’t know if we believed it,” said Kelleman. “After the first two days, a lot of us realized that’s where we should be. We should be at the top of the leaderboard every tournament we play.”

Why not?

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