KEENE, N.H. – Felician University's first men's golf tournament guided by first-year head coach Joe Ambrose concluded with an 11th-place finish at the Franklin Pierce University Fall Invitational, contested Sunday and Monday at Keene Country Club.
The Golden Falcons were coached by Felician director of athletics Ben "JR" DiNallo for the first 14 years of their existence. DiNallo, who has started his 17th full year as A.D., gave up the reins of the golf team this summer and hired Ambrose to replace him.
DiNallo's top four players from a year ago return to the 2019-20 squad, but all mostly struggled on Sunday as the team signed for a 332. In most NCAA stroke-play golf tournaments, a school starts five players, and the top four scores each day constitute the team total.
The Golden Falcons sat in 12th place in the 14-team event after Day 1. All five Felician players improved on Day 2, resulting in a 314. But the Golden Falcons netted only one slot, passing two teams but being outscored by another, and settled for 11th.
Senior Christian Lauchaire (Annandale, N.J./North Hunterdon) was the only Golden Falcon to finish in the top half of the 74-player field. On the 6,520-yard layout, he carded a 78 on Saturday, six shots better than his closest teammate. He led Felician again by shooting 75 on Saturday. Lauchaire's nine-over-par tournament score of 153 tied him for 26th place.
Senior Jake Storako (Laurel Springs, N.J./Highland Regional) made a measure of recovery from a difficult start. Storako was +6 after his first two holes of the tournament. He somewhat righted himself to finish with 85 on Sunday, then fired a more representative 77 on Monday. His 162 left him tied for 52nd place.
Also figuring into the Felician scoring were sophomore Gonzalo Maldonado Felices (Almeria, Spain/Stella Maris) (T-60th, 85-80-165) and senior Prince Sukklabsawan (Si Racha, Thailand/Heritage Academy [S.C.]) (62nd, 84-82-166). Junior Adrian Mayorga (Valley Cottage, N.Y./Albertus Magnus) made his collegiate debut and, while playing in the No. 5 slot, shaved 14 strokes off of his score day-over-day.
Chestnut Hill College produced a 308 on Monday to move up three slots into 10th place, six strokes ahead of the Golden Falcons. Felician was 10 shots ahead of 12th-place American International College. The Golden Falcons were fourth out of five Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) members in attendance.
St. Thomas Aquinas College edge Southern New Hampshire University, 588-591, to earn the team title. STAC fired a -4 total of 284 on Monday. Spartan junior Travis Fay was the medalist by five strokes after shooting 69 in each round.
Felician is idle until returning to the Granite State on Sept. 23-24 for the Penmen Fall Invitational, hosted by Southern New Hampshire University. It will be the Golden Falcons' final tune-up for the CACC Championship meet on Oct. 7-8 in Haworth, N.J.