April 4, 2012
WEST POINT, N.Y. - The Army golf team will return to action this weekend at the Rutherford Intercollegiate, Saturday and Sunday at Penn State’s Blue Course in State College, Pa.
The Black Knights have not competed since the National Invitational Tournament capped a busy spring break on March 17.
For the first time this spring, Army is expected to have its full lineup. A rash of injuries and illness has forced second-year head coach Brian Watts to shuffle the lineup each event.
“We’re excited to compete this weekend,” said Watts. “We will have our top five guys in the lineup and are relatively healthy for the first time this spring.”
The 36th annual Rutherford Intercollegiate will feature 36 holes on Saturday beginning at 7:30 a.m. and an 18-hole final round at 8 a.m. on Sunday at the par-71, 7,202-yard Blue Course.
Penn State won the event last year, led by individual winner T.J. Howe of the Nittany Lions. Army finished fourth with four golfers in the top-20.
In addition to Army and Penn State, the field features Bowling Green, Canisius, Connecticut, Delaware, Eastern Michigan, George Mason, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Miami, Rutgers, St. Bonaventure and William and Mary.
“The goal this weekend is to get better every day,” said Watts. “We want to build some confidence and make sure the guys are in a good frame of mind leading into the next few events. There is no doubt we will be prepared mentally, the focus will be on keeping the guys healthy and making sure they are conditioned to compete for 54 holes.”
Senior William Park, junior Matt Philie, sophomores Anthony Kim and Brandon Baerwaldt and freshman Robby Hill will represent the Black Knights. If healthy, senior Ethan Johnson will compete as an individual.
Kim leads the team with a 75.8 scoring average, just ahead of Baerwaldt’s 76.2 and Philie’s 76.5. Park averages a 77.4 while Hill shows an 82.0 average. Philie will be playing in his first tournament of the spring while Johnson is seeking his first action of 2012.
Army will play at the Wolfpack Spring Invitational April 14 and 15, the final tune-up for the Patriot League Championships April 28 and 29 at Bucknell Golf Course.