By Daniel Puryear
The Rams hosted the VCU Janney Shootout September 18-19 at the Country Club of Virginia Tuckahoe Creek Course. Twelve teams from Virginia, North Carolina and Maryland competed including in-state rivals the University of Richmond and Old Dominion University.
The Janney Shootout was VCU golf’s second tournament of the season after traveling to Verona, New York last week for the Turning Stone Tiger Intercollegiate where they tied for sixth, out of 15 schools.
The VCU Janney Shootout was the first home tournament of the season out of only two planned for the area.
Senior Alister Balcombe from Cleyedon, England, led the Rams and finished tied for sixth overall. Balcombe started off his first round just above par on the front nine and lowered his score on the back half, giving him an under four start on the first day.
The back nine, and most likely some fatigue, wore into Balcombe — he had four bogeys and ended up two over after his second round.
In a last ditch effort to give the Rams a solid placement, Balcombe shot five under in the third round and finished the tournament seven under. His bounce-back performance put him at 67 on the day — a personal best.
Senior Osama Khan, senior Daniel Stamper and freshman Kristian Tannum Donaldson all tied for 35th place overall. Sachin Kumar, a freshman from Trinidad & Tobago, finished 43rd at five over.
Sophomore Alston Newsom, the only Virginia native on the team, struggled through his final round including a quadruple bogey on a par three. Newsom ended eight over and tied for 52nd.
Errol Clarke, a senior from Maryland, had a tough third round as well, finishing 69th despite being the only one on the team to record an eagle.
Stamper and Newsom had the best second round on the team, both ending at par. Stamper and Kumar did the best in their pairings — Kumar finished four or more under his Rutgers University and Radford University counterparts.
Newsome vastly improved, shooting an average 74.67 compared to last year’s 80.25. Khan also improved at Tuckahoe Creek, shooting a 73 each day, improving from an even 77 in the 2016-2017 season.
VCU finished eighth at one over, narrowly beating out James Madison University at three over. West Virginia University won the VCU Janney Shootout. Atlantic 10 teams George Washington University and Richmond finished 10th and 12th, respectively.
The Rams head to Chapel Hill, North Carolina for the Tar Heel Intercollegiate tournament on October 7 and 8. VCU Golf will not be back in the state until the Black and Blue Cup in Richmond on April 21.