For senior Billy King and the rest of his class, this is their last chance to meet their goals and accomplish the task they came to do when arriving at Fairleigh Dickinson University. The men’s golf team currently sits at a 2-1 record, but have placed in multiple tournaments this season, including winning the Misericordia University Tournament.
For King, a better parting gift to cap off his career and the careers of the rest of his fellow seniors would be to win the big prize, the MAC Tournament, and head to the Division III NCAA Tournament.
King, one of three captains, explains the goals of the team this season and what it will take to improve.
According to King, the men need to “win the conference championship and work extremely hard.” He went on to say, “especially not just at practice, but as well as on the weekend when we don’t have practice. Working hard, going into the gym and working out. We have to do everything it takes.”
Right now the team is off to an excellent start and with the tournament quickly approaching the team is beginning to fire on all cylinders.
“We won our tournament last Monday by a couple of shots over our conference rivals,” said King. “We are all playing very well. We are all on the same page and we know what needs to get done.”
The Devils had an impressive start to their season during the Fall when they went 2-0 and placed in several tournaments. The team’s personal best was when they tied for first out of eight schools in the Centenary College Tournament.
The spring season has seen a lot of matches get postponed, but FDU has kept clear heads and have kept fighting past these interferences.
On April 9, the Devils dominated the Misericordia University Tournament and came in first place.
The team shot a 304 all together, which was two shots higher than their conference rival and the tournament host, Misericordia.
Senior Daniel Bentson had a team high 73, and came in second overall for the day. Senior Andrew Burke shot a 76 and freshman Shane Sickles followed with a 77. King finished the day with a 79. The team took command and ruled the green for the day.
During the golf team’s most recent match, they did not perform up to the squad’s standards. FDU finished ninth out of 18 teams while shooting a 334. Junior Matt Molinari shot a 79 and junior Kevin McCloskey finished with an 82 for the day.
“We didn’t perform that well Friday because we were missing a couple of our top guys, but we are looking good going into our next couple of weeks,” King said.
For the season, Molinari is leading all golfers on the team averaging a 78.8 per match. Bentson follows averaging a 79.1 and King is shooting a 81.0, which is good for third on the team.
The Devils are heavy favorites to dethrone the defending champions Manhattanville. The squad’s lone loss came against came the University of Scranton during the early part of the spring season.
“Manhattanville is our biggest competition. They are the three-time reigning conference champions and hopefully we can get by them,” said King.
Head Coach Roger Kindel has given the team one clear goal and it is to win the MAC Championship. This will be King’s and the rest of the seniors’ third year participating in the conference championships and they hope for a different result to finish their collegiate careers.
Last season the Devils came up short during the MAC Tournament and came in second out of eight schools. King believes his squad has the talent to win the tournament, they just need to execute.
“I want to go to the NCAAs,” said King. “Coming into school here that is the one thing I have wanted to do here.”
There is one thing left on King’s college bucket-list and that is to bring a trophy back to Madison.
King hopes he can carry his game to a professional level by teaching people how to play the game and possibly perform in a tournament somewhere.
Winning the MAC Championship and competing in the NCAA Tournament will look impressive on his resume for future golf positions.
The Devils’ last home match is on April 15 against Delaware Valley University at 1 p.m.
The MAC Conference Tournament begins on April 27 and closes out on April 28 in Hershey, Pa.
If FDU wins the conference tournament, the team will continue to play into May in an attempt to win the Division III NCAA Tournament.