Jamie Susanin practically willed Radnor to the PIAA Class AAA team title in the fall of 2012.
Susanin was a senior and the Raiders had added a talented freshman in Brynn Walker to a lineup that had been the runnerup at the state tournament a year earlier. While Walker, now a talented freshman at North Carolina, certainly helped, Susanin was the unquestioned leader of that team and second place just wouldn’t do.
So it was good to see Susanin still playing some pretty good golf this week as the Dartmouth senior finished in a tie for third at The Babs Steffens Invitational at Victoria Hills Golf Club in DeLand, Fla. in the Big Green’s first tournament of the spring portion of their campaign.
The Dartmouth men also have a couple of locals on their roster, former Episcopal Academy standout Sean Fahey and Scott Jaster, one of the leaders on some dominant Haverford School teams. The Big Green men were also in action last weekend and I’ll update their progress later in this post.
Susanin only played in one event for Dartmouth as a junior. I’m sure there was an infusion of young talent for the Big Green and these kids at Ivy League schools actually prioritize the classroom, sometimes to the detriment of their golf games.
But I can guarantee you, Susanin was just as proud, if not more so, of Dartmouth’s fourth-place finish in the team standings at The Babs Steffens as she was of her tie for third in the individual chase.
Susanin opened up with a 1-under 71 over the 5,907-yard, par-72 Victoria Hills layout and added rounds of 76 and 74 for a solid 5-over 221 total.
The Big Green had rounds of 304, 297 and 299 to finish fourth in the 11-team field at 900, 20 shots back of team champion St. Leo. The Babs Steffens wrapped up Monday.
The rest of the Big Green’s team counters all finished in the top 40. Jessica Kittelberger, a junior from Raleigh, N.C., finished in an tie for 13th at 226, an effort that included a 1-under 71 in the middle round.
Catharine Roddy, a sophomore from Trabuco, Calif., finished tied for 21st at 229 after opening the tournament with an even-par 72. Maddie Nelson, a freshman from Scammamish, Wash., finished tied for 30th at 231 after a final-round 74. And Tara Simmons, a senior from Goldsboro, N.C. finished tied for 38th at 234, including a 1-over 73 in the middle round.
Dartmouth made the most of its escape from the endless winter in Hanover, N.H. and brought four more players along to compete as individuals.
Kristin Soh, a freshman from Los Angeles, matched par in the final round to finish tied for 32nd at 232. Isabelle Kane, a junior from Winnetaka, Ill., finished tied for 48th at 242, Hana Bradshaw, a sophomore from San Diego, finished 57th at 256 and Bethany Burns, a freshman from Signal Mountain, Tenn., finished 60th at 261.
If Susanin’s senior year at Dartmouth is anything like her senior year at Radnor, I suspect it will be a considered a success by the end of April.
St. Leo’s team crown was fueled by a 1-2 finish in the individual standings. Amanda Jakobsson, a junior from Sweden, won the individual title with a 4-under 212 total that featured a final-round 68 and Marie Coors, a senior from Germany, was another shot back in second at 3-under 213 after a final-round 70.
The Dartmouth men, meanwhile, finished 13th in a 21-team field in the Furman Invitational, which wrapped up Sunday at the Furman University Golf Course in Greenville, S.C.
Fahey, a senior, had a second straight strong showing for the Big Green with rounds of 72, 73 and 74 over the 7,004-yard, par-72 Furman University layout for a 3-over 219 total that left him in a tie for 88th.
That even-par 72 opening round was part of a sparkling 3-under 285 team effort by Dartmouth that left the Big Green in fifth place in the team standings. Jeffrey Lang, a senior from Lexington, Mass., ended up being Dartmouth’s top individual, finishing tied for 34th at 1-over 217. But Dartmouth’s opening-round effort was so strong, Lang’s 1-over 73 was tossed.
Dartmouth slid back with a 1-over 289 in the second round and a final-round 302 to finish up at 12-over 876.
John Lazor, a sophomore from Westwood, Mass., opened up with a 3-under 69 and finished tied for 60th at 5-over 221. Will Bednarz, a freshman from Larkspur, Calif., finished in a tie for 66th at 222, including a 1-under 71 in the middle round. Ian Kelsey, a junior from Deerfield, Ill., finished tied for 83rd at 225. Riley Griffin, a freshman from Providence, R.I., competed as an individual and finished tied for 92nd at 226.
Jaster, a senior, did not make the trip to Furman, although he was in the lineup when the Big Green opened its spring campaign in late February at the Wexford Plantation Intercollegiate in Hilton Head, S.C. He finished tied for 73rd at 237.
Jaster always seems to save his best stuff for the Ivy League Tournament, most notably as a freshman when he finished eighth at Baltusrol Golf Club’s Lower Course.
Fahey was the Big Green’s low man in the Wexford Plantation, finishing tied for 54th at 232 after a final round of even-par 72 as Dartmouth placed 17th at 936 in a strong 18-team field.
Clemson, No. 16 in the latest Golfstat rankings, roared to its fourth straight team title at Furman, finishing at 29-under 835, including a sizzling 12-under 276 in the middle round. It gave the Tigers a 14-shot margin of victory over South Carolina-Aiken, the No. 16 team in NCAA Division II which finished at 15-under 849.
Clemson was paced by individual champion Carson Young, a senior from Pendleton, S.C. who fired a final round of 5-under 67 to finish at 11-under 205. Chattanooga’s Wes Gosselin, a redshirt senior from Knoxville, Tenn., and Andrew Novak, a senior from Mount Pleasant, S.C., shared second place at 10-under 206. Gosselin had a final-round 68 while Novak started off with rounds of 67 and 66 before cooling off with a final-round 73.
Brian Quinn took his Temple team to Greenville, S.C. and the Owls finished 19th at 894, but might have turned a corner with a solid final round of even-par 288.
Trey Wren, a sophomore from Suffolk, Va., was the Owls’ top individual, finishing tied for 27th at even-par 216, including a final round of 3-under 69.
And that wasn’t even Temple’s low round on the final day. John Barone, a redshirt sophomore from Dunmore, fired a 4-under 68 to move into a tie for 79th at 8-over 224. He had rounds of 77 and 79 before the dramatic final-round turnaround.
Redshirt freshman Erik Reisner, a two-time Central League champion at Harriton, had a final round of 2-over 74 to finish tied for 92nd at 226. Junior Mark Farley, a Calvary Christian product, and freshman Marty McGuckin, a Malvern Prep product and the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s Junior Player of the Year last summer, each posted a 5-over 77 in the final round. Farley finished tied for 105th at 229 and McGuckin finished tied for 119th at 236.
Sophomore Sam Soeth, a former Marple Newtown standout, played as an individual and started off with a 2-over 74 before falling back with an 80. He did not turn in a card for the final round.