Joshua Mabry, Campus Carrier sports editor
The Berry men’s and women’s golf teams’ 2019-20 seasons are underway with mostly underclassmen leading both teams. Both teams are optimistic for successful seasons this year.
The women’s team has played in one event so far, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) DIII Preview at the PGA National Golf Club in West Palm Beach, Florida. The team placed 13th at the preview.
Head Coach Brian Farrer said that this event showed the team’s weaknesses and what they need to work on before the next event. The team’s putting is something that especially needs to be worked on, according to Farrer.
“We’ll continue to work in small groups and figure out how we can get better at that and make fewer mistakes and make better decisions on the golf course,” Farrer said.
Sophomore Chloe Wegienka echoed Farrer’s remarks about the preview. She said that, while the team did not perform as well as they originally had hoped to perform, the preview showed them the work that they are going to have to put in to be where they want to be by the end of the season.
“The freshmen came in,” Wegienka said. “I think they know now how much work it’s going to take to compete at the Division III level. It’s exciting to know that we have two hardworking freshmen who will contribute to the team.”
Wegienka said that she only expects the season to get better from here for the women as the team’s conference schedule is not until spring semester.
“I know that we’ll put in a lot of work the next few months and keep climbing to the top of the list,” Wegienka said. “I’m excited to see where the team will make it.”
The women’s team is motivated and dedicated to being the best athletes possible, according to Wegienka.
The men played in the Southern Athletic Association (SAA) Men’s Golf Preview on Sept. 8 and came in second place. The team also played in the NCAA DIII Preview and placed ninth.
Farrer said that he saw a lot of good things at both previews, but especially at the SAA Preview.
At the SAA Preview, the weather was really good, while wind was an issue at the NCAA DIII Preview, according to Farrer.
Farrer said that the men’s team was only five shots away from having a successful tournament at the NCAA DIII Preview.
“I think we have to show our players how important it is to make those right decisions,” Farrer said.
Farrer said that the team will have to look back on the preview and realize that there were only five shots needed to be in front of four or five other teams and talk about things that they could have done differently.
Freshman Blake Farbman performed well for the men’s team at the first two events, according to Farrer. He has had two top-five finishes so far.
Farbman said that he hopes to be one of the top freshmen in the country this season. In addition to personal successes, he also said that he wants to see team successes this year, which include being ranked in the top 10 and winning tournaments.
“I expect to win the conference and contend for a national championship,” Farbman said.
Farrer said that in addition to his separate goals for the men’s and women’s teams, he has goals for both teams collectively. At the end of the day, he wants both teams to be able to sit down and say that they made good decisions.
Seeing the golfers grow individually and as a team this season are two things that Farrer said he hopes his teams accomplish this season.
“These two teams here are meshing well together,” Farrer said. “They travel well together, which is great. They have a good time. They want to eat together, spend time together, which is great. I think that will help. The ability to be there for each other and just be a better person, a better golfer.”
Farrer said that both of his teams this season are competitive and have a will to win.
The men will continue their season on Sept. 30 at the Gordin Classic in Columbus, Ohio.
The next event for the women will be on Oct. 7 at the Carnegie Mellon Invitational in Ligonier, Pennsylvania.