09 Dec 2021 | 15:15 | Golf
VILLANOVA, Pa.—The first four players in the Villanova lineup all shot rounds of 73 or better in the first round of the team’s home tournament on Monday afternoon and the Wildcats are currently tied for third place with a team score of 289 at Radnor Valley Country Club. Junior Noah Peck (Hunt Valley, Md.) led Villanova with a round of 71 (+1) in the opening round of the Wildcat Invitational and is tied for ninth place going into Tuesday’s second and final round.
There are 15 teams competing in this week’s 36-hole tournament, with the second round getting underway Tuesday with tee times ranging from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on the par-70 course which is playing 6,484 yards this week. Villanova has posted a team score below 300 in five of its 10 rounds on the season, including four of the last five rounds the team has played. The Wildcats are currently tied with Drexel in the team standings, with St. John’s (277, -3) and Bucknell (282, +2) leading the field after one round of play.
Peck topped the field of 94 players with 15 pars in the first round. He made par on each of his first eight holes, birdied the ninth to make the turn at one-under, and then parred the next seven holes to sit at -1 through 16 before making bogey on the final two holes. Peck’s round helped Villanova make 76 pars on the day, the most of any team in the field.
Senior Reb Banas (Winnetka, Ill.) carded a 72 (+2) and is currently tied for 18th place, while graduate student Amrbose Abbracciamento (Newtown, Pa.) and senior Max Siegfried (Villanova, Pa.) had the other counting scores for the Wildcats. They each shot 73 (+3) and are tied for 24th place. Rounding out the Villanova lineup were sophomore Matt Minerva (Elmsford, N.Y.) in a tie for 32nd place (74) and freshman Peter Weaver (Frontenac, Mo.) who is tied for 46th place (75). Monday’s round marked the first time this season that the Wildcats entire lineup posted score of 75 or better.
As the host school for this week’s tournament, the Wildcats are also fielding a ‘B’ lineup which finished ahead of two other schools. Villanova’s second group of five posted a score of 301 (+21) and is in 14th place. Sophomore Luke Alexander (Rochester, Minn.) and freshman Jonathan Elkins (South Deerfield, Mass.) led that group with scores of 74 on Monday and are tied for 32nd place on the individual leaderboard. Sophomore Jack O’Hara (Loudonville, N.Y.) carded a 76 in the opening round, while juniors Matt Davis (Newtown Square, Pa.) and Danny Dougherty (Wilmington, Del.) each shot 77.
The leaderboard currently has Jack Simon and Douglas Beney in the lead with scores of 66 (-4), while Blake Wisdom from Bucknell is in third place with a 68. The average score in the field of 94 players in the first round was 75.14. The 452-yard, par-4 third hole was rating as the hardest hole on the course, while the 529-yard par-5 seventh was the easiest. There were two eagles made on the course Monday, by Nathan Bazant of Rider and Kevin Smith of Saint Joseph’s, which each came at the seventh hole.