July 7, 2009
PHILADELPHIA - It was an up-and-down season for the Saint Joseph's golf team. The Hawks opened the season with a third-place finish, but weren't able to match that consistently and eventually finished ninth at the Atlantic 10 Championship.
Beginning the season at the Navy Fall Invitational, Saint Joseph's got a solid all-around performance from its five-man squad, finishing in third place in the 17-team field, while every Hawk finished amongst the top-35 individual golfers.
Playing in his first collegiate match, freshman Jimmy Bea quickly impressed, placing seventh with a one-over-par 143. He would continue his solid play at the Adams Cup, finishing tied for 16th overall, including a pair of one-under-par 71's at the three-round tournament. Unfortunately for the Hawks, only sophomore Josh Webb had a consistent round like Bea, as SJU tied for 10th amongst 16 teams.
Saint Joseph's again was unable to get an all-around performance for the second straight tournament as it finished 12th of 14 teams at the Cleveland State Invitational. Junior captain Zach Smith posted his best performance of the season, tying for ninth at the Sand Ridge Golf Club, while Webb and Bea finished amongst the top-20.
However, SJU would struggle to get solid performances from its final two spots and that inconsistency would carry over to the final three tournaments of the fall, despite Bea tying for fourth at the Georgetown Hoya Invitational and finishing second at the Old Dominion/Seascape Invitational.
The Hawks had a slow start to the spring season as they placed 13th at the Wexford Plantation Intercollegiate, and followed with an 18th-place finish at the First Market Bank Invite.
Senior captain Steve Hudacek and Smith led the way at the Princeton Invitational as they tied for 17th and 20th, respectively, while Smith paced SJU at the Navy Spring Invitational by tying for 13th. But the Hawks again couldn't get steady play through the five-man lineup, finishing 12th at Princeton and 12th at the Navy Spring Invitational.
Trying to displace three-time A-10 champ Charlotte, the Hawks had an uphill battle at this year's conference tournament. Hudacek put up a strong opening-round 72, while junior Bill Macknis and Bea had strong finishes, tying for 24th and 27th, respectively, while the Hawks placed ninth as a team.
While the Hawks lose their senior voice in Hudacek, they will return a strong team in 2009-10 as the top four scorers will be back to don the Crimson and Gray on the links for SJU.