With all the scholastic action as well as several USGA events going on, I haven’t focused in on the college scene as much as usual in the fall. So here’s a recap of the last month or so for two-time Marple Newtown All-Delco Sam Soeth, who’s a freshman at Temple, and former Garnet Valley standout Annika Vandayar, who is having a nice freshman season at Wellesley.
Soeth was enrolled in a golf management program last year that is associated with Coastal Carolina, the school located just outside Myrtle Beach, S.C. But the competitive bug was still biting, so Temple coach Brian Quinn, a golf guru to players young and old throughout the region, lured Soeth back home to play for the Owls.
And he’s been a solid addition to a program that is headed by senior All-American Brandon Matthews, who has won the Philadelphia Open twice in the last three years. Matthews recently advanced out of the First Stage qualifying for the Web.com Tour and may have a decision to make should he make it all the way through and earn a Web.com Tour card.
Most recently, Soeth had rounds of 75, 79 and 75 for a 229 total that left him in a tie for 69th at the fifth annual AutoTrader.com Collegiate Classic at Berkeley Hills Country Club in Duluth, Ga.
Matthews, the 2010 PIAA champion as a junior at Pittston, led the way for the Owls with a 3-over 219 total, finishing in a tie for 29th. Temple finished 13th in the team standings.
I couldn’t quite figure out what happened at the end of this tournament, but a couple of weeks ago when Matthews was playing in the Web.com Tour qualifier, Soeth fired a 1-over 72 at the Lonnie Poole Golf Course on the campus of North Carolina State and stood in a tie for eighth following the first round of the Wolfpack Invitational.
Soeth had the low round for the Owls that day, helping them to 10th place in the 16-team field in the early going.
The last weekend of September (best known in these parts as the Pope weekend), Soeth was the second-best Temple finisher, behind only Matthews, as he had rounds of 76 and 74 at the Quechee Cup Collegiate Challenge in Quechee, Vt.
His 6-over 150 total left him in a tie for 17th overall. Matthews finished in a tie for 10th at 2-over 146 to lead the Owls to fifth in the team standings at 604.
There were a couple of other familiar names in the field at the Quechee Cup. Three-time Haverford School All-Delco Scott Jaster, a junior at Dartmouth, had rounds of 71 and 74 to finish in a tie for eighth at 1-over 145, a shot better than Matthews.
Led by freshman John Lazor, who finished second overall, the Big Green claimed the team title. Dartmouth had rounds of 285 and 293 for a 2-over 578 total that was four shots clear of Rhode Island.
Temple and Dartmouth were allowed a couple of added starters and that meant a little Fahey family feud between the Owls’ Liam and the Big Green’s Sean. Low Fahey honors went to Sean, a former Episcopal Academy standout, as he had a pair of 80s for a 160 total that left him in a tie for 57th. Liam had rounds of 82 and 81 to finish in a tie for 63rd at 163.
Vandayar never quite made it out of the District One Tournament during her scholastic career at Garnet Valley, but was a consistent player who often counted for the Jaguars in team matches and had some nice finishes in the summer, including a couple of strong showings at the Pennsylvania Girls Junior Tournament.
She seems to have landed in the perfect place to pursue her academic goals while playing a little golf, too.
Vandayar had rounds of 89 and 87 last weekend to help Wellesley finish ninth out of 15 teams at the Williams Fall Invitational at the Taconic Golf Club in Williamstown, Mass.
Sophomore Maya Muldowney led the way for the Blue with rounds of 90 and 85 for a 175 total that left her in a tie for 37th. Vandayar was a shot back in 39th.
Also this fall, Vandayar delivered Wellesley’s best round at the Mount Holyoke Invitational, a second-day 83 at the Orchards Golf Club in South Hadley, Mass. She had opened with an 85.
Wellesley had rounds of 372 and 380 to finish 11th in the 14-team field.
A week earlier, Vandayar again improved from the first day to the second, firing an 84 at the Spook Rock Golf Course in Suffern, N.Y. after an opening-round 90 in the NYU Invitational.
Wellsley was led by Amy Zilin Jin, a freshman from China who had rounds of 81 and 85. Wellesley finished 10th in the team standings.