ALLENTOWN – Seniors Danny Harcourt and Dane Sethre-Hofstad cemented their legacies as two of the top performers in the history of the men’s golf program by leading Gettysburg College to its first Centennial Conference championship in 17 years Sunday at the Brookside Golf Club.
After two windy days on the golf course, Gettysburg trailed Swarthmore College by 15 strokes entering Sunday’s final round. The tide quickly turned along with the weather and the two seniors set the tone with Harcourt maintaining his overall lead in the individual standings with a two-over 73 and Sethre-Hofstad posting the lowest final round in championship history with a three-under 68 to finish runner-up.
The Bullets overtook Swarthmore and runner-up McDaniel College over the final nine holes and came out with a six-stroke victory, finishing with a 295 on Sunday and a total score of 937 (319-323-295).
“We knew we had an opportunity to win if we came out and played the way we were capable of playing,” said first-year Head Coach Nate Davis. “The first two days of competition were really tough. We felt like we were within striking distance going into the final day. We gave ourselves a chance.
“No one gave the championship to us; we went out and earned it.”
Gettysburg carded Sunday’s lowest round by 12 strokes and captured its first league championship since 2002. It was the program’s fourth overall Centennial title.
Harcourt maintained his consistent presence on the course with a three-day total of 225 (73-79-73) to beat out Sethre-Hofstad by four strokes. His 73 on Sunday included 13 pars and a pair of birdies on the first and last holes of the course. Harcourt is Gettysburg’s first CC medalist since Peter Ruymann ’11 in 2011.
Sethre-Hofstad racked up seven birdies Sunday on the way to finishing one stroke shy of the program record he shares with Harcourt and Jeff Poet ’76. The senior ran off three consecutive birdies on holes 11-13 and closed his day with a five-foot birdie putt on 18. He finished with a total score of 229 (81-80-68).
Sethre-Hofstad and Harcourt each captured their second all-conference awards and became Gettysburg’s first 1-2 finishes ever at the Centennial finale. Harcourt is on his way to breaking Gettysburg’s career scoring average at 74.3, while Sethre-Hofstad is right behind at second all-time with 75.5 strokes per round for his career.
“Having two guys up at the top of the lineup like Danny and Dane is great,” noted Davis. “We were relying on them to bring it home. I’m so proud of those guys and it just shows the determination and work they’ve put in during their careers.”
Making the biggest move for the team was freshman Tristan Hochman, who jumped from 24th after two rounds to tied for 12th after carding a season-low 73 on Sunday. The freshman picked up birdies on the first and seventh holes and then capped his first career conference championship with seven consecutive pars. He finished with a total score of 241 (85-83-73).
“Tristan came up big today,” said Davis. “He played clean on the back seven holes and shot two-over today. Dane’s round and Tristan’s round were the biggest differences for us today. They did an amazing job and really pulled us through.”
Sophomores Quinn Greene and Daniel Rieger rounded out the Gettysburg lineup tied for 24th and tied for 27th, respectively. Greene posted his fourth birdie of the event on the par-3, 186-yard No. 5 hole and finished with 86 on Sunday for a three-round total of 249 (80-83-86). Rieger posted a birdie on No. 1 for the second consecutive day on his way to an 81. He carded a total score of 253 (91-81-81).
“We golfed 27 holes during windy conditions Saturday,” said Davis. “Our guys showed a lot of mental toughness battling through those elements. Coming through that and still having a chance to win heading into today gave them a lot of confidence to play and trust in their clubs and in their swings.”
For Davis, the championship with the golf team marks his second at the helm of an athletics program at Gettysburg. In 2018, he led the women’s basketball team to the CC championship and an appearance in the NCAA Division III Tournament.
In his first year leading the men’s golf program, Davis has steered the Bullets to a program-record nine team championships and the squad is averaging a record 302.5 strokes per round this season.
“It’s very surreal and I feel very blessed,” said Davis. “Coach Boreman and I walked into a great situation and I’m proud of the guys and happy for the opportunity they gave us to coach and stand beside them on the way to the conference title.”
Gettysburg’s work is far from over. As the conference champion, the team receives the league’s automatic qualifier to the NCAA Division III Championships set for May 14-17 at the Keene Trace Golf Club in Nicholasville, Ky. It will be the Orange and Blue’s first national appearance since 1994 – three years before Harcourt and Sethre-Hofstad were born.
After three days on the course and nearly nine months of competition dating back to last September, Davis is happy to give the team a moment’s respite to relish in the glow of a CC championship run. Then it will be back to work to show the nation how good Gettysburg golf can be.
“We’re going to be working on areas of their games they need to sharpen up, but we’re also going to relax a little bit too,” stated Davis. “We’ll let the accomplishment soak in and then try to do our best down in Kentucky. The goal is to represent our region and our conference well on the national stage.”
WOMEN’S GOLF: For the ninth consecutive season, the Gettysburg College women’s golf team stands atop the Centennial Conference as the Bullets wrapped the two-day league championship with a combined team score of 694 at Conestoga Country Club to win the conference crown.
Gettysburg, which captured its tenth conference title overall, took a 20-stroke lead into the final round of competition. The Bullets added another five strokes on Sunday to finish 25 ahead of runner-up Marymount University (Va.). The Orange and Blue have won the last six championships by 25 or more strokes and finished with a two-day total of 694 (346-348).
Muhlenberg’s Aine Filler won the individual championship with a score of 162 (83-79). Alessandra Bertacche of Marymount was third with a 169 (89-80).
Juniors Skylar Frankiewicz and Hannah Fireman earned all-conference honors for the third-straight year after placing second and fourth place, respectively. Frankiewicz and Fireman, who both tied for third last season at the conference championship, carded a two-day combined score of 164 and 173, respectively. After firing an 80 in the opening round, Frankiewicz carded an 84 Sunday. She tallied five pars and a birdie on the front nine and two pars off the back nine to claim runner-up. In the opening round, Fireman shot an 83 and posted a 90 Sunday after collecting four pars to take fourth overall.
Junior Katie McCarthy, who placed eighth in her first CC Championship as a freshman, also notched eighth-place this year, carding a 177. She sliced one stroke off her first day total by tallying seven pars on the final day for an 88.
Freshman Cameron D’Amica was the most improved player for the Bullets on the final day as she shaved off an impressive 11-strokes from her first day total to secure a tie for 11th in her Centennial Conference debut with an 86. Senior Gillian Marini finished her second-straight conference tournament appearance with a tie for 15th after shooting a two-day total of 189 (94-95).
As Centennial Conference champion, Gettysburg receives the automatic qualifier to the NCAA Division III Championship on May 14-17 at the Bay Oaks Golf Club in Houston, Texas. It will be the Bullets’ sixth consecutive trip to the national stage.