By Meredith Cook
Special to GoHolyCross.com
The 2010-2011 Holy Cross men's golf team, led by head coach Bob Molt in his 35th season, will feature a hefty 14-deep roster, providing the squad a lot of depth. And because this is largest number of golfers Molt has carried in his tenure, everyone will be jockeying for position, with the best golfers earning their spots in competitions. "I am very enthused for this season," said Molt. "There will be a lot of great competition for spots this year and with the amount depth on the team, I believe we will be a very highly competitive squad."
Leading the way for the second straight year will be senior captains Colin Andrade (Assonet, Mass.), Tim McGovern (Oradell, N.J.) and James Widman (Middlebury, Conn.). "The strong core of our two-time team captains has a major impact on the leadership exemplified on our team," continued Molt. "Our three captains are not only good competitors but have the capability to make our team grow." Andrade was a first team All-New England selection after playing a career-high 17 rounds in his junior campaign. He also marked a career-low round of 68 at the New England Championship. McGovern returns after playing in eight rounds his junior season, finishing with a stroke average of 83. Widman tied for the most rounds played on the team (20) and was the low scorer for the team at the Yale Spring Open.
Also coming back to the team are seniors John Weber (Branford, Conn.) and James Burokas (Brant Rock, Mass.) as well as junior Andrew Wong (Wailuku, Hawaii). Weber marked four rounds of competition last season, finishing with a stroke average of 81.3, his personal best. Burokas made his season debut at the Nichols Invite, marking a one round score of 86 while Wong saw 13 rounds of action, marking the low score for the Holy Cross team at the Nichols Invite (76), another personal best. "The thing is, every player can have an impact on the team," quoted Molt. "These guys know what to expect and how to work at being the best competitors they can be."
The return of sophomores Roberto Machado (Miami, Fla.), Michael McCarthy (Tolland, Conn.) and Steve Zychowski (Mendham, N.J.) also adds strong skill and practice to the squad. Machado proved that he could improve greatly over the year, marking six rounds of play and finishing his freshman season with an 80.5 stroke average. McCarthy came in to make an immediate impact on the squad and was named first team All-New England and second team All-Patriot League for his performances. He was the low scorer for the team in four different competitions, a team-best. Zychowski followed suit with McCarthy as he was selected to the first team All-Patriot League and had the lowest score for the team in two competitions. Zychowski also made headlines this summer as he qualified for the 2010 U.S. Amateur Championship, finishing stroke play with a two-round score of 155 (+12) and tying for 155th place.
"Everyone on this team has played over the summer," said Molt. "Playing and competing in our 'off season' has allowed all of the guys to make major improvements in their game and I cannot wait to see what they can do all together while back on campus."
The squad will be complete after the qualifier is held on Sept. 4 and 5 at the Heritage Golf Club in Charlton, Mass. One newcomer is set, as freshman Matt Campbell (York, Maine) joins the squad after earning All-Western Maine Athletic Conference honors all four years of high school.
The 2010-2011 slate also presents very good competition for this year's team. "Our schedule is definitely better this year," commented Molt. "When you play better you receive more invitations and appear in more upper-echelon tournaments, as we will this season" The Crusaders jump right into action as the fall season kicks off with a shootout with Assumption on Sept. 7. The Blue Devil Invitational, hosted by Central Connecticut, follows on Sept. 12-13, while the Hartford Invitational (Sept. 27-28) rounds out competition in September. Three competitions fill up October, starting with the MacDonald Cup (Oct. 2-3) continuing with the Northeast Invitational (Oct. 16-17). Fall action wraps up at the NEIGA Championship held from Oct. 18-19 in Brewster, Mass.
With major improvements made by all golfers over the summer and a roster full of depth and experience, the 2010-2011 men's golf team can only aim high, not just individually, but for the growth and development of a very competitive group of golfers.