VanHouse Leads Young Elmira Golf Team To Strong Opener
BRADFORD, Pa. -- For an eighth consecutive season, the Elmira College men's golf team opened its fall schedule at the Pitt-Bradford Fall Invitational, hosted by the defending Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference (AMCC) champion Panthers from the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford.
With a lineup that featured four student-athletes playing their first-ever collegiate rounds, the Soaring Eagles scored a solid 332 (+52) and placed 10th out of a competitive 15-team field. At a new location from previous renditions of the 16th annual Pitt-Bradford Invitational – the Pennhills Club – the EC men shaved 28 strokes off of their total from last year's season-opening tournament. Additionally, the team score of 332 is just two strokes shy of Elmira's best round from the entire 2018-19 campaign.
Leading the way for the Purple and Gold was Jake VanHouse '23, who tied for 18th with a nine-over 79. The reigning Section X Champion from Ogdensburg Free Academy in Ogdensburg, New York, VanHouse's 79 marks the lowest round by a freshman in his EC debut since Brandon Payne '17 carded a 77 (+6) in his first round of action at the fall portion of the 2013-14 Empire 8 Conference Championships.
VanHouse followed up outstanding qualifying rounds where he recorded his third career hole in one.
Juniors Alex Crysler '21 and Matt McGaugh '21 were separated by just two strokes. Crysler turned in an 82 (+12), tying him for 33rd out of 79 competitors, while McGaugh fired an 84 (+14) and finished in a tie for 37th place.
"Jake, Derek and Kevin, all three of the freshmen, they come pretty highly touted," Elmira Coach Mike Zannella stated. "They have a really strong base. At this point, we're just going to build upon what they have, and they should be phenomenal golfers here.
"Really I want them to have fun. The sooner we can get them accustomed and having fun, I think their skill will show through."Seniors Christian Lloyd '20 and Henry Cleveland '20 also hit the links for their first-ever rounds with the Soaring Eagles. A transfer student-athlete from Division I Sacred Heart University, Lloyd carded an 87 (+17), which put him in a two-way tie for 52nd place. Cleveland tied for 57th, as the Verona, New York, native posted a 91 (+21).