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The GW Hatchet

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Officials to clear homeless encampment near campus in May
By Max Porter, Contributing News Editor • March 4, 2024

Golf’s youthful roster sets high hopes for A-10 title as playoffs near

Hatchet File Photo
Head Coach Chuck Scheinost said he has his eye on a multi-year stretch of highly competitive play.

Updated: April 13, 2023 at 12:17 a.m.

Editor’s note:
The Hatchet misidentified freshman Rodrigo Barahona as freshman Manuel Barbachano in the story. In the previous version of the article, Barahona’s quotes were attributed to Barbachano. Barahona’s quotes are now correctly attributed to his name. We regret these errors.

After three-straight top-three finishes in their spring slate of tournaments and two individual wins, golf is gearing up for a run at the Atlantic 10 title and looking ahead to a new era of Colonials golf.

The five-man team has hit their stride in the last month and a half, notching a pair of third-place finishes at the Savannah Intercollegiate and the Ross Collegiate Classic in a field of 18 and 15 teams, respectively, and coming up two strokes short of victory last week at the Golden Horseshoe Invitational. Senior Jakub Hrinda and freshman Manuel Barbachano have both captured solo victories, the senior’s in the Ross Collegiate and the freshman’s in the Savannah Intercollegiate.

The Colonials have leaned on a mixture of fresh faces and veteran leadership for their success this season, and with every player – including two seniors – returning for another go around the block next year, Head Coach Chuck Scheinost has his eye on a multi-year stretch of highly competitive play.

“We’ve come a long way, and we don’t look at it as just this year,” Scheinost said. “And we’ve been talking about that. We’ve got everyone back for next year, and we’ve signed a really good kid who at one point was number three in the class.”

The “really good kid” is Aksel Moe, the reigning division 3A Florida High School State Champion who signed a National Letter of Intent with GW in November. Moe, who consistently ranked within the top 60 in the 2023 class, will bolster an already-skilled and youthful roster even further.

Also returning is Hrinda, who won’t admit it but has assumed a “humble” leadership position among the team. He has pushed the crop of young freshmen to practice more frequently and has given tips to his teammates, like visualizing the course of the upcoming tournament as they practice on the range.

“I don’t think he’s given himself enough credit for the leadership role he’s taken,” freshman Rodrigo Barahona said in an interview. “As a freshman, you come to a new place and you expect the seniors to be like ‘Who are these guys? I don’t want them to take my spot’ and stuff. But the team as a whole was very welcoming and made it easy for the freshmen to settle in.”

Hrinda’s attitude toward the freshmen golfers, along with fellow senior Hugo Riboud’s, has paid dividends on the course. At the Savannah Intercollegiate, Barbachano shot a seven-under 209 and Barahona came in second for the Colonials with a five-over 221.

In the next tournament starting March 13, the Ross Collegiate Classic, it was Hrinda’s turn for a victory. His three-round 66-69-68 brought him to 13-under par, enough for a two-stroke individual victory.

Despite his performance, or Barbachano’s in the previous tournament, the individual success was not enough to bring the Colonials within striking distance of a team victory. The golfers have struggled to each hit a consistent stride on the course individually as the season has progressed.

“We have not really had five guys play well in one event or even four guys play well in one event,” Scheinost said. “We’ve been close, and it’s been different guys each week.”

The closest finish of the spring slate thus far came last week at the Golden Horseshoe Invitational in Southern Pines, North Carolina, where the Colonials walked to the clubhouse just two team strokes behind first-place Villanova. But due to a virtual scoreboard malfunction, the team was unaware of their proximity to the lead going into the final stretch of the closing round, robbing them of momentum.

Barahona said the team finished just two strokes behind Villanova but thought they were in third place heading into the final holes, despite their second-place positioning.

“We were frustrated,” Hrinda said. “I think everybody on the team performed really well, and they’ve known where they stand and finish really strongly. I think had we known, it would have been a more fun experience, and we could have performed a little better on the closing holes.”

GW will compete in two more tournaments before the season culminates in the conference championship, played this year at Reunion Resort and Golf Club in Orlando, Florida. Barahona said the goal for the final stretch before the A-10 will be to get all five guys scoring well at once, helping position them for success down the stretch.

“I think during the season I’ve seen everybody play their best and it just hasn’t been clicking as a whole,” Barahona said. “But I have full trust in the team that we will perform, and I think we just have to believe as a team that we can go out there and perform.”

The Colonials will travel across the country next week to DuPont, Washington to compete in the Seattle Red Hawk Invitational at Chambers Bay golf course, the site of the 2015 U.S. Open. In their final stop before the conference tournament, the team will head to Pittsburgh for the Redhawk Intercollegiate April 16.

“At the end of the day, we were talking about how I would define the season as a success,” Scheinost said. “Well, we’ve long exceeded success for this season. Now it’s just icing on the cake, and now can we go put the cherry on top the last few weeks.”

The team will have that opportunity in Orlando, teeing off the first round Friday and wrapping up Sunday.

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