It was a sigh of relief for Tim Harner and the men’s golf team on Sunday April 27. The Pennsylvania Athletic Conference Championships, held at Center Valley Golf Club in Allentown, Pa. came down to a shootout between Cabrini and Neumann College.
When all of the smoke cleared, the Cavaliers were victorious, finishing with a combined score of 635, nine strokes less than the pre-season favorite Neumann Knights. But the victory wasn’t secured until well after both Tim Harner and Chris Lawler were finished playing.
“It was the longest 25 minutes of my life,” Harner, a junior history and secondary education major, said. I didn’t know what to say, it was one of the greatest feelings in my life.”
Cabrini’s top five golfers got the privilege to play in the championships. Mike Ryan, Brian Walsh and Mike Dunphy represented the Cavs, along with Harner and Lawler.
Sophomore Chris Lawler was also named the individual PAC champion, scoring a 73 and turning in a total score of 153 and adding to the excitement of the weekend.
“After day one, I was five strokes behind Neumann’s No. 1 golfer,” Lawler, an accounting major, said. “I was winning after the first day last year and I didn’t take it seriously. I thought that it would just come to me. This time, I took it much more seriously.”
But a modest Lawler also had the team on his mind.
“The individual honor wasn’t on my mind as much as the team. We all chose the most important day to play our best games.”
Ironically, after day one play on Saturday, April 26, the Cavs actually found themselves nine strokes behind the Knights. For the first time all season, the team had to deal with a bad score card.
“Our first three shot well and we weren’t looking too bad,” Lawler said.
But the last two golfers for the Cavs didn’t fair quite as well, scoring a 90 and a 98.
“We had to count the 90 as our fourth score, which hurt us a lot,” Lawler said. “We were so consistent all season and Saturday was the only bad day of the whole year.”
After a disappointing day one, the Cavaliers sat down and talked about the season.
“To play so perfectly, only to play bad the two days that mattered the most, would have brought down the entire season,” Lawler said.
Upon accessing the damage, Harner knew that there was definitely still hope.
“I thought that as long as we weren’t down by more than 10 strokes, we could make them up,” Harner said.
Going into day two play, Lawler admitted that in the back of the team’s minds, they knew making up nine strokes would be no easy task.
Sunday turned out to be Mike Ryan’s time to shine. Ryan, who was guilty of the 90 on the team’s score card the day before, ended his day with a brilliant 73 on his scorecard, making up more than the nine the team was down by.
“I just am really happy I could come back after playing bad on saturday and shoot a good score to help the team,” Ryan, a freshman, said.
“Ryan turned it around and shot great on the second day,” Lawler said.
Then Lawler turned in a 73 himself, giving the Cavs the nine stroke lead they would need to hang on, as well as the best individual score, making him champion.
“When Lawler came in, I had a good feeling,” Harner said. “I remember him saying, I’m going to be one of the best, if not the best, and he stayed true to his word. He is a clutch player and I am proud to have had the chance to play with the individual PAC champion.”