A Few Strokes Short

It was a golf season full of inconsistencies for the Manhattan Jaspers until the end when the Jaspers were a mere four strokes shy of winning the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference title.

Captain Chris Calabro liked the effort the team gave, but it wasn’t enough to win the MAAC championship.

“We collectively didn’t put it all together in the final round,” said Calabro. “We were close but we just fell short.”

Paul Toohey lines up at the Puerto Rico 12th green championship course. Photo courtesy of Toohey.
Paul Toohey lines up at the Puerto Rico 12th green championship course. Photo courtesy of Toohey.

The Jaspers finished in fourth place, which is the best the finish at the MAAC tournament since 2001.

The team placed one stroke behind Fairfield and Monmouth, who both tied for second place, and were three strokes behind the winner of the MAAC title St. Peter’s University, who had a three-day score of 931 (+67).

Despite unsatisfying finishes to their college golf careers, Calabro, Jonathan Feuer – who may be back for another season – and Paul Toohey sense the Jaspers’ top tier finish at this year’s championships is an experience that made veterans out of James Edgeworth and Michael Giannico.

St. Peter’s head coach Peter Falloon knew going into the tournament that his team had been ranked number one and was comfortable enough not to feel threatened by the other teams in the MAAC. He also was aware that there were other teams that could play well and catch them off guard with enough aggression, and the Jaspers did just that.

“This was the closest year of bunching of the teams that there has been,” said Falloon. “So it would not have surprised me if Manhattan won. Manhattan made a run at us and it was nice that they did.”

Calabro said if there was one thing that prevented the Jaspers from finding their consistency earlier on, it was the weather. Players were rusty for a longer period of time because of lack of practice on an actual golf course.

Courses the team normally practiced on weren’t even open.

He mentioned about a week before the MAAC championship that the Jaspers were supposed to practice with a professional golfer at Winged Foot Golf Club, but it was cancelled because of two inches of snow on the course.

“Everything was working against us as far as the weather,” said Calabro.

He added that for players like Edgeworth and Giannico, who have two more years to try and win a MAAC title, this season’s experience is something they can use to teach the four incoming freshmen recruits.

Manhattan head coach Jerry Wood was proud of his team’s integrity, strength and fortitude throughout the season and during the MAAC championship. He thinks a MAAC title is possible as soon as next year.

“To sum up the season, we wanted to peak at the right time,” said Wood. “And our finishes in the other tournaments really didn’t matter that much as long as we were learning as we were going.”