Allegheny Golf Team scoops up wins and breaks records

Matt Del Rosso
Jackson Sandusky, ‘20, watches the ball after hitting a shot with an iron as Head Coach Jeff Groff watches from behind.

Coming off a season of talented first-year debuts and several broken records, the Allegheny golf team is taking pride in their fall 2018 competition.

Both the men’s and women’s teams have experienced an influx of new members, with 6 of 13 men and 4 of 9 women all being first-years.

“It’s a significant number compared to past seasons,” Lindsay Benko, ’20, said. “They’re a good bunch. They’ve really transitioned well to this team and there’s a lot more team unity and cohesiveness.”

The new and returning members of the women’s team have gotten close in a relatively short amount of time. Benko said the team members spend time together and study outside of practice.

“It’s a lot more of a friendly vibe,” Benko said. “It creates a good team environment. That’s true between the men’s and women’s teams; we get along well which builds team unity.”

The women’s team has done very well this season, earning higher placements from golf tournaments than in past years. Benko pointed out how team captain and sole female senior Ali Metzger, ’19, has excelled this season.

“She’s done really well,” Benko said. “She won a couple of tournaments this fall and has placed highly at all of them, which has helped the team a lot as well as it being a great accomplishments for her.”

The men’s team has also experienced an influx of young talent. As with the women’s team, about half of the men’s team consists of first-year students.

Men’s Team Co-Captain Jackson Sandusky, ’20, pointed out the impressive abilities of the first-years.

“Not only do they have talent, but they’re also experienced,” Sandusky said.

Matthew Del Rosso, ’21, agreed the young team is starting to shape itself into something great.

“Our team is (getting along) very well; we’re making big strides in the weight room and on the course,” Del Rosso said. “We’re practicing a lot, so it’s going to be cool to see how we’ll develop throughout the next couple of years.”

Del Rosso recently broke the lowest 36-hole individual scoring record for an Allegheny golfer by scoring a two-round total of 135 points at the Carnegie Mellon Fall Shootout on Sept. 15-16. The men’s team has placed in the upper half of every tournament, including a first place win at The Montgomery Cup at Rosemont College on Sept. 22 and 23. The first-year class is ranked 13th in the nation, according to Del Rosso.

“Hopefully all of these other teams are starting to see what we’re really about,” Del Rosso said. “The motivation this year is definitely a lot higher and more ramped up than it was last year.”

Several members of the team are also brothers of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity, which allows the team to grow even closer.

“A lot of our team is a part of Phi Psi, so it’s cool being friends with everyone and being with your best friends every day,” Del Rosso said.

This bond shared by the men is unique to that of almost any other golf or sports program of any other school, according to Jackson.

“I can’t tell you how much it means to me to go out there every single day with guys who love what they are doing,” Sandusky said. “I don’t know if you’re going to get a group of guys at any other school or program who love each other and what they do as much as we do.”

As co-captain, Jackson’s responsibilities are even greater with a large first-year group, but he said the newer members have been great, thanks to their past experience.

“Being able to say that I’m a captain on this team makes me incredibly proud,” Sandusky said. “This golf program has offered way more than just golf for me.”

Both Sandusky and Del Rosso have high hopes for the spring season and for the future of  Allegheny golf.

“We definitely have more goals to break and more records to set, hopefully, in the next coming weeks and months, and in the coming spring,” Del Rosso said. “Hopefully these other teams really see that we’re a force to be reckoned with, and it’s something that we take very seriously.”