BELLE VERNON, Pa. - - The Wilmington University golf team opened its 2021-22 season with a sixth place finish at the Vulcan Invitational hosted by California (Pa.), shooting rounds of 288-283-308 for an 879 (+23) at Cedarbrook Golf Course.
Monday's round proved more difficult than the two rounds on Sunday, as the Wildcats' 308 was the fifth best team score of the day after Sunday saw scores in the 280's. The Wildcats were 23-over par, but was just three strokes away from taking fourth overall out of the 17 teams in the field.
Sophomore Tyler Cleaves led the Wildcats by finishing in a tie for 18th overall, shooting rounds of 72-67-78 for a 217 (+3). Cleaves started with a birdie on his first hole (the fourth) and was even par after his first seven holes of the day. But a stretch that saw five bogeys in seven holes put the sophomore five-over par. He was tied for eighth in the tournament with 12 birdies altogether, and tied for ninth overall on all par four holes, finishing even for the tournament.
Junior Matthew Pulgini finished his first tournament as a Wildcats in a tie for 22nd overall, shooting rounds of 70-71-77 for a 218 (+4). On Monday, he birdied his second hole of the day (the par five sixth), but that would be his only circle on his scorecard for the round. Six bogeys the rest of the way saw him finish with a 77 (+5), the second best score for the Wildcats on Monday. He finished four-under par on all par fives this weekend, ranking tied for seventh overall for the tournament.
Graduate transfer Carlos Coeto finished his first tournament as a Wildcat in a tie for 31st overall, shooting rounds of 72-73-76 for a 221 (+21). On Monday, Coeto had the best round for the Wildcats, sinking birdies on the par five 10th and on his final hole of the day, the par five fourth to finish with a 76 (+4). Coeto led the entire tournament with 38 pars in the three rounds.
Freshman Pablo Quintero moved up 11 spots and finished in a tie for 45th overall with rounds of 75-73-77 for a 225 (+11). He birdied the par three 14th to get to two-over par for the round, and had six pars and three bogeys the rest of the way, finishing with his 77 (+5).
Ali Ladak tied Quintero in a tie for 45th overall with a 225 (+11), but Ladak had rounds of 74-72-79 to get his final number. On Monday, Ladak birdied the par three 14th and the par four 18th, getting back to four-over par. But a double bogey on hole three and a bogey on his final hole of the day made him settle with a 79 (+7).
Competing as an individual, Jan Lekes moved up 14 spots to a tie for 94th after a 77 (+5) on Monday, his best score of the tournament. He shot rounds of 81-80-77 for a 238 (+24). On Monday, he had pars on his first four holes and then birdied the par three second hole to get to one under par. But that's the only birdie he would shoot on Monday, finishing his round with seven pars and six bogeys for his 77 (+5).
Charleston took over the lead on Monday and won the tournament, shooting rounds of 282-279-298 for an 859 (+3). They overtook West Liberty who finished second with rounds of 277-283-300 for an 860 (+4). The only other CACC team there was Post who finished seventh overall with rounds of 295-284-303 for a 882 (+26), three strokes behind the Wildcats.
West Liberty's Alex Easthom won the tournament by two strokes, shooting rounds of 65-64-76 for a 205 (-9). Charleston's Victor Del Pozo Ramis and Shepherd's Mason Kidwell tied for second two strokes off the lead.
The Wildcats head to Virginia in two weeks to compete in The Griffin Invitational at the Country Club of Petersburg, hosted by St. Leo University. The two-day, three-round tournament will begin on Monday, September 20.