Golf Competes in South Jersey Kick Off


The Rams showed out on Saturday with fantastic play to open the spring. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

The spring season is officially under way for the Fordham golf team as the Rams made the trip to Ocean View, N.J. to compete in the South Jersey Kick-Off at the Shore Gate Golf Club hosted by Iona University this past Saturday and Sunday.
The opening weekend action was not so smooth sailing for the Rams, battling through winds between 30 and 45 miles per hour all afternoon. After the completion of the first 18 holes on Saturday, Fordham sat in seventh place and 32 strokes back of the tournament champion La Salle University.

Fordham had a pair of individuals competing in the Kick-Off, as seniors Charles Smollen and Andreas Aivazoglou concluded their first rounds of play with scores of 82 and 85 respectively. Smollen’s 82-stroke performance netted a 19th place standing when all was said and done Saturday afternoon.

The Rams were led by senior P.J. O’Rourke and sophomore Chris Konefal, both of whom carded scores of 84 during the day one festivities. Five strokes behind the Fordham leaders was sophomore Jake Mrva and senior Nicholas Manning, tallying a pair of 89s on the scorecard.

Making his debut collegiate appearance with the Rams was sophomore Mashu Nishi. The Thousand Oaks, Calif. native shot a score of 90 in his debut round for the Rams.

With much more favorable weather conditions this time around, the Rams saw a satisfying turnaround in overall scores from all of their competing golfers the following day. Fordham pulled it all together during Sunday’s portion of the meet as the Rams tallied the fourth best score of the day two totals and finished sixth in overall standing.

It was once again O’Rourke and Konefal doing the heaving lifting as the duo notched mirroring scores for a second consecutive day. O’Rourke and Konefal both etched a pair of 74s on Sunday and completed the South Jersey
Fordham knotted for a 17th place finish overall. Aivazoglou was able to shave four strokes off of his day one performance and grab a score of 81, good for a 31st place finish.

Fordham’s underclassmen continued to thrive in the spring’s first contest as Mrva crafted an impressive score of 79, a 10-stroke improvement to his Saturday score of 89.

Mashu Nishi saw the most benefit from the shift in course conditions as the sophomore, in just his second collegiate round, netted a 76-stroke showing. Nishi’s 16-stroke improvement was the largest margin from any competing Ram all weekend. Manning and Smollen, like fellow teammates O’Rourke and Konefal, wrapped up their play in a tie for 44th place among individual standing.

After the encouraging Sunday turnaround, the Rams will look to replicate that same type of play on April 4th as they journey down to Colts Neck, N.J. to take part in the Monmouth One-Day.