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Men's Golf News & Highlights

April 27, 2014

CHAMPIONS! Eagles Rise to Freedom Victory


On a day when every stroke counted, the Eagles rallied on the back nine to claim the program's first Conference Championship.

Only two years removed from finishing last in the Freedom Conference, Eastern University Men’s Golf earned a one-stroke victory at the Freedom Conference Championships at Hershey Country Club. The Eagles, who held a two-stroke lead after day one, matched their day one total of 337 and claimed victory in a meet where four teams finished within eight shots of the lead.

Ryan Torresin battled his way to a top three finish and Andrew Barbin Jr. held things together after a tough opening nine to finish seventh overall. With Logan Maurer and Ethan Herr carding matching 84s, the Eagles placed all four scorers in the top 20.

Before he came here as junior transfer last year, Logan Maurer told Coach Birtwistle that he was going to help the team win a conference championship.

At the time, that statement was a little ridiculous.

The Eastern program had not finished outside of last in the Conference in three years, and was without a home course or roster of committed golfers. Maurer was joined on the roster by the talented Torresin, and things moved forward, but the team lacked depth to make a run and still finished outside the top half of the league.

The Eagles added two freshmen and welcomed Herr back to the roster for his senior season. With the advantage of the Danny A. Hearing  indoor golf facility on campus and a great home course down the road at St. Davids Golf Club, the squad showed great promise early. They started opening eyes this spring with an impressive 305 at York.  

At the turn today, however, it looked as though the Eagles might come up short. Each of the four scorers had given back shots to the opposing teams, and Birtwistle was concerned that sleeping on the lead might have gotten to his team.

The back side, which for the Freedom Conference today was the longer front nine at Hershey, proved to be the difference. Barbin had scuffled to a 46 on the first nine, but he came back with a 41. Torresin and Herr each dropped two shots off their front nine scores. Maurer did even better than that. The senior captain made good on his promise to his coach with a gritty 39 to give the Eagles the win.

"We hung in there," Birtwistle commented. "We were all down in the early going and we battled back for the win. The chemistry of this group is amazing, and I really believe that they were playing their hearts out for each other." Birtwistle was named Cach of the Year, and Torresin and Barbin earned All-Conference recognition.

With the win today, the Eagles will advance to the NCAA Tournament and two new banners will go up in the gym this summer. Eastern will travel to the Grandover Resort  in Greensboro, N.C. to compete at the NCAA's three-day tournament starting on May 13.

DeSales finished second with a 675. Manhattanville finished at 680 and King’s was at 682.

Box Score

Updated: Sunday, 27 April 2014

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