LANCASTER, PA - The 2006 Franklin & Marshall men's golf team is prepared to recapture the Centennial Conference title following back-to-back runner-up finishes in 2004 and 2005.
The 2003 Centennial Conference champions, Franklin & Marshall has finished in the top four in the Centennial Conference the last five years following back-to-back runner-up finishes (2004 & 2005), a third place finish in 2002 and a fourth place finish in 2001.
In the spring, head coach Glenn Robinson will look to a batch of young and talented golfers, as well as rely on veteran upperclassmen, to continue on the team's recent success and to hopefully take the team to even higher levels.
This year's team will contend again for the title as well as make a run to be one of the three teams to qualify for the NCAA Championships from the Mid-Atlantic Region.
The team will have a number of goals as the Diplomats will look to defend last spring's victory in the F&M Invitational, as well as beat the school-best finish of second place (2003) at the Rochester Invitational. Further, F&M returns to Hershey East Country Club for two rounds where they set the school record team score of 300 as they placed second in the Elizabethtown Invitational on October 6, 2005.
Individually, the Diplomats should have five strong players who have the potential to compete for the individual title in each tournament.
Senior Mark Quick (Forest Hill, MD/Saint Paul's) has been an anchor with his consistent play for the past few seasons and will look to continue more of the same, while classmate Ben Madonia (Clinton, NY/Clinton) returns from his fall semester aboard to also provide senior leadership and contribute heavily as he did in the past few seasons.
The team will also boast three freshmen who started most of the matches in the fall with great success. Ross Brown (Kingston, PA/Wyoming Seminary) led the team this season in scoring average (75.8) during the fall and boasted the highest individual finish of third place with a score of 72 at the Elizabethtown Invitational. Bryan Hertog (Richmond Hill, Ontario/Langstaff) is ranked second on the team in scoring average (76.7) and recorded two rounds of 75 during the fall. Rounding out the trio is Dennis Gunderson (Duxbury, MA/Duxbury) who carded the second best round of the fall with a 73 in his first collegiate tournament at the Wesley Invitational to tie for sixth and is third on the team in scoring average (79).
Another potential contender for medalist honors at the Centennial Conference Championships later this year is sophomore Kevin Penhallegon (Glen Arm, MD/Loch Raven) who was fourth on the team in scoring average (80) for the fall and posted an eighth place finish with a 75 at the Elizabethtown Invitational.
The team will play its traditional spring schedule which includes the Gettysburg (March 28) and McDaniel (April 1-2) Invitationals at the Links of Gettysburg, the Rochester Invitational/NCAA Mid-Atlantic Qualifier at Hershey East Country Club (April 9-10), the F&M Invitational at Bent Creek Country Club (April 17) and the King's Invitational (April 23-24) at Glenmaura National Golf Club before hosting the Centennial Conference Championships at Pilgrams Oak Golf Course (April 28-30).