By Brian Yauger
The Youngstown State University men’s golf program ended the first leg of the 2018-19 season with some struggles, but managed to leave a trail of optimism heading into the spring leg.
“We had some good individual performances,” Penguins Head Coach Tony Joy said. “A lot of guys have had some low rounds, but collectively as a team we struggled. We weren’t able to put three or four guys together each round. Two guys would play well and the other two would struggle. Through the season, everyone would have some outstanding rounds, but it just seemed like we couldn’t put three or four scores together teamwise and obviously that reflected on some of our finishes.”
That rang true in their last tournament of the year. At the Titans Motown Collegiate, Kevin Scherr finished 6-over-par 222 and C.J. Hughes had a 13-over-par 229, but the next closest player was at 24-over-par for the tournament.
“That’s typical sometimes in the fall,” Joy said. “We have nine guys on the roster, one redshirted, so basically eight players. All eight players played in the fall so I gave everyone a chance to play, and the team scores don’t always reflect that I’m trying to get everyone some rounds because the championship season is in the spring, and once we’re in the spring, everything is pretty much set.”
The Penguins’ highest finish of the fall leg was a 10th of 18th place finish at the Turning Stone Tiger Intercollegiate in Verona, N.Y., to open up the season. Senior Jason McQuown shot a three-round 219 (72-77-70) leading the team and finishing in a tie for 13th. McQuown’s final round included 14 pars and three birdies. His first round included 12 pars and three birdies.
Sophomore Kevin Scherr was one of the Penguins who had some good performances. Scherr ending his season off right, finishing in the top-10 for the second straight invitational, with his tie for 8th place at the Titans Motown Collegiate which was hosted by Horizon League rival University of Detroit Mercy.
Scherr shot a three-round score of 222 (73-74-75) finishing the first leg of the season as YSU’s top performer in four of the six events and has four top-10 finishes so far in his short career with the Penguins. Scherr’s fourth place finish at Cleveland State University was a career best.
“At Cleveland State, he was playing real well,” Joy said. “It was a 54-hole event and he was in the lead for 45, or 50 of them. He had a few hiccups and finished fourth, but played well there. In Detroit, he was pretty steady, had a couple of rough holes, but the conditions in Detroit were cold and windy. I think that affected not just our scoring, but all the scoring.”
With just one senior and no juniors on the roster, the Penguins rely on guys like Scherr stepping up in the spring season.
“Kevin’s very consistent,” Joy said. “If you look at what he’s done leading the team individually, his scores and so forth, but coming back from last spring and what he accomplished over the summer and into the fall, he’s become a very quality player. Quality and consistency is what you’re looking at from a coaching perspective.”
The schedule for the spring leg of the season will be announced shortly but the Penguins look ready for the task.