The John Carroll University men’s golf team is off to its best start in over three years, as the squad obtained its second win of this fall season with a two-round total of 591 at the Mount Union Fall Invitational on Sunday, Sept. 29 and Monday, Sept. 30. The Blue Streaks finished first out of the seven schools in the tournament and held on to defeat a surging University of Mount Union squad that cut an eight-score deficit on Sunday down to just four on Monday.
Senior Alex DiPalma led the way for JCU. DiPalma captured his first medalist honors of the season, as he shot sub-par rounds to finish with the lowest individual score of the tournament at 140. Sophomore Nick Boccio also had an impressive performance, turning in a third place overall performance of 147 after shooting a 75 in the second round.
“Since my freshman year, I have gained about one club’s distance [about 30 yards], which has helped me on longer courses, and a lot of hard work last year has greatly improved my iron play,” Boccio said. “I have also gained a considerable amount of confidence in my game in the last year.”
Other standouts included sophomore Casey Vancil, who tied for 17th with a final score of 154. Fellow sophomore Darrin Grove did quite well also, moving up 19 spots on the leader board to finish tied for 19th place overall with freshman Mark Chrzanowski. Both finished with a final score of 155.
The Blue Streaks had nine players finish within the top 40 standings at the Mount Union Invitational.
Senior Mike Hager, who finished tied for 38th with a total score of 163, believes the Blue and Gold could be special as the season progresses.
“I think the golf team is far along right now. We have a really solid group of guys,” Hager said. “This year our team is a lot deeper and more talented compared to last year.”
With the tournament victory, the team is off to its best start since the 2010-11 team started out with five straight tournament wins.
A major reason for JCU’s success can be attributed to the large number of successful underclassmen on the team. Out of the 15 players on the team, there is only one junior (Chris Kohl) and two seniors (DiPalma and Hager). This means a very good portion of the team should continue to make huge strides within the coming years.