BABSON PARK, Mass.—After helping put together one of the most impressive seasons in program history in 2018-19, four members of the Babson College men's golf team are testing their merits in a number of state and regional tournaments this summer.
Rising senior Chris Bornhorst (West Newton, Mass.) opens play in the 111th Massachusetts State Amateur Championship at The Country Club in Brookline on Monday, while rising sophomore Burt Gesner (Severna Park, Md.) will make his Maryland Open Championship debut on Monday at Worthington Manor Golf Club. Bornhorst, who is making his fourth straight state amateur appearance, will look to build upon last year's strong showing on a historic course that has hosted the U.S. Open, U.S. Amateur and the Ryder Cup.
"I can't remember a time when I was more excited to play in a tournament than I am for this week (at The Country Club)", stated Bornhorst, who was one of 32 players to advance to match play last year at George Wright Golf Club. "Playing The Country Club will be surreal knowing the championships that have taken place there. Even though the stage is a little bigger than a regular season tournament I want to use that to stay focused and calm throughout the week."
For Gesner, the Maryland Open represents another opportunity to compete against a strong field. He shot 1-over par to qualify for both the state amateur and state open back in late May, and is looking forward to the challenge of taking on some of Maryland's best players for a second time after missing the cut at the amateur championship a month ago.
"My expectations for this week are the same as I've had for every tournament, which is to stay focused for every second on the course," commented Gesner. "The course is going to be extremely difficult and the one thing I learned from the amateur is that the margin for error is much thinner. The old cliché of taking it one shot at a time is something that is always important."
Rising sophomore Nicholas Gianelos (West Chester, Pa.), who finished with a team-best 74.26 scoring average as a rookie, has continued the strong start to his collegiate career by shooting 69 to qualify for the Philadelphia Open and 70 in his Delaware Open Qualifier. With his confidence riding high into this week's Philadelphia Open and the Delaware Open on July 29-30, Gianelos has been motivated by the Beavers' second-place finish at the Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) Championship back in April, which kept them out of the NCAA Tournament.
"Last year was very successful but I wasn't happy with the way it ended, and have used it as motivation to work harder this offseason when I don't feel like continuing to practice on the range or putting green," he said.
As important as the results are in the short term, the experience of playing against some of the top local and regional players can only help each player come the fall. "Playing in qualifiers and tournaments over the summer provides valuable competitive experience", commented rising junior Lane Bohman (Chatham, Mass.), who qualified for and competed in June's Massachusetts Open Championship. "The field of players in these tournaments is better than in our Division III events and having the ability to compete against other high-level players helps my confidence in the collegiate events.
In addition to the work Babson's returners are putting in, incoming first-year Jackson Rothwell (Victoria, British Columbia) carded an opening round 65 and went on to win the 117th B.C. Amateur Championship by one shot with a 10-under par total last week at Big Sky Golf Club in Pemberton. Rothwell, who also finished third at the B.C. Junior Boys Championship, will now be part of the Willingdon Cup team that will represent British Columbia at the Canadian Men's Amateur Championship in Nova Scotia from August 5-8.