Golf team begins season with Hartford Invitational

Brendan Dowding

In a talent-laced field at the Hartford Invitational in Bolton, Mass. this past weekend, the Quinnipiac men’s golf team held tough against some of the fiercest competition on the east coast and beyond.

The Bobcats finished eleventh in the two-day, 54-hole event with a combined score of 941. Campbell University was tops at the Invitational with an overall team score of 856. Pacing the ‘Cats were senior Steve Velardi and junior Kyle Chumas who each wrapped up the weekend with a score of 231.

After his team completed its third and final round at the International Golf Club on Saturday, head coach John O’Connor was pleased with its performance.

“Steve Velardi led the way with a 1-over par on a grueling course,” he said. “Kyle Chumas shot 2-over and bettered his morning round by five shots.”

Sophomores Ian O’Connor, Jason Loranger and Andy Feehan rounded out the scoring with totals of 240, 242 and 248.

Aside from Campbell University, the ‘Cats faced off against the likes of San Francisco, Johnson & Wales (Florida), Texas Pan American, University of Hartford, Hartford (Mass.), Villanova, Seton Hall, Laval and UConn at the Invitational.

With this kind of competition so early in the year, the Bobcats will gain valuable experience that they can take with them the rest of the season. O’Connor was already impressed with the way his younger players stepped up against high-quality competition.

“Ian O’Connor missed a hole in one by inches and he and Jason Loranger helped the team move up in the standings against one of the strongest fields that we will face this year,” O’Connor said. “I’m confident that the team is on the right track and will continue to improve.”

The Bobcats hit the links again Saturday at the Central Connecticut Blue Devil Invitational. They tee off at 9 a.m. from the Stanley Golf Course in New Britain.