By Lauren Raziano, Web Editor and Assistant Sports Editor
The Manhattan College Golf team was picked 8th in the MAAC Conference and is planning to rise the ranks this season.
They started off slow, finishing ninth at the Sacred Heart Invitational, which was held at LPGA International in Daytona Beach, Fla. This past weekend, the Jaspers finished 20th on the final day of the Battle at Rum Pointe, on the Rum Pointe Seaside Golf Links in Berlin, MD.
According to GoJaspers, the Jaspers finished the match with a second-round team total of 322 (+33) and an overall score of 641 (+65).
The article highlighted top players.
“Colby Norton was the top finisher for the Jaspers. The senior finished T73 after posting a total score of 156 (+12) over 36 holes. Sam Taraian and Lincoln Haymaker ended the day T92, carding a 159 (+15).” the GoJaspers website reported.
Head Coach, Phil Wildermuth, started in Fall 2018 and is motivated to exceed the MAAC Conference’s expectations this season.
“We are very motivated right now to prove people wrong,” Wildermuth said. “I love being the underdog. I believe in the future we will not be the underdog either.”
COVID-19 has impacted the team greatly but Wildermuth is looking forward to this new semester with old and new faces.
“It’s made me think outside the box a lot more. It made me more concerned for my players’ health … It affected the team greatly. It set us back a couple of years,” Wildermuth said. “I know it set everyone back too so I don’t want to use it as an excuse. But I’ve learned a lot through all this. I think everyone has.”
One standout player for Wildermuth is junior Lincoln Haymaker.
“I think an underdog is Lincoln Haymaker. He has the potential to play, a couple 100 par I believe, He is pretty steady,” Wildermuth said. “He has good body language on the course, he’s a patient player, and he’s just really a great guy.”
Lincoln Haymaker is grateful for Coach Wildermuth’s dedication and leadership to the team.
“I just want to say that none of this would be possible without the efforts of Coach Wildermuth,” Haymaker wrote in an email to the Quadrangle. “He goes above and beyond what is required of him for the success of this team. He truly cares about us as players, but more importantly as people. He lives and breathes Manhattan College Golf just like us.”
Haymaker responded to the announcement of the MAAC Conference pick and is determined that the Manhattan College team will rise above 8th.
“Recently, there was a preseason poll that ranked Manhattan College towards the bottom of the MAAC Conference and that does not sit well with any of us,” Haymaker wrote. “We are a force in the MAAC and we plan to demonstrate such.”
Haymaker is ready to work hard this season.
“I know my strengths and I know my weaknesses, I have the direction I need and I’ve been working to continue getting better,” Haymaker wrote. “We’ve had some good momentum as of late and I think the whole team is hungry and determined to keep that momentum going. We’ve been working hard and we’ve spent the last few months waiting for this Spring season.”
In February, the golf team held a fundraiser via the players posting on Instagram. Wildermuth credits Whitney Swab, Senior Associate Athletic Director, for the fundraising idea.
“I have to give Whitney Swab all the credit,” Wildermuth said. “Our team is very appreciative of Whitney and we’re happy to have her on,” Wildermuth said. “My role was just to let my players know ‘Hey, send this out to your friends and your family. It would be a big help for the rest of the spring season.’ ”
Haymakers was appreciative of the support for the fundraiser from his friends, family and past alumni.
“It was awesome to see all the love and support from our friends and family as well as alumni,” Haymaker wrote. “It was great to see how many people truly care about Manhattan College Golf. The support goes a long way. We want to show everyone who we are and what we are capable of.”
There are two senior players this Spring 2022 season, Jimmy Escoto and Sam Taraian.
“I have two seniors playing this season. Sam Taraian, we call him ‘the train’. He’s a two time Academic All American and I would think he’s probably going to be a three time Academic All American at the end of this season, which is an amazing compliment and accomplishment,” Wildermuth said.
There are two new freshman players that have joined the golf team this year, Greg Seo from Carrollton Texas, and Christopher Lee from Ijamsville, Maryland.
“I have a couple of young guys that are playing this semester that don’t have a lot of experience so I’m excited to see how they bond because I know they have a lot of talent and ability. Let’s see how they handle the pressure.” Wildermuth said.
The next Manhattan golf match is Monday, April 4th at Rolling Green Golf Club in Springfield, Pennsylvania.