Red-hot IUP goes back-to-back for first time since 2014

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The Crimson Hawks took the course at the Whitford Country Club in  Exton for West Chester University’s Dr. Edwin Cottrell Invitational Sunday and left Monday with a familiar result.

Just like they did in 2011, 2012 and 2014, IUP took home the title.

The Crimson Hawks have now won back-to-back events for the first time since fall 2014, as  they were victorious at the Oglebay Intercollegiate in Wheeling, W.Va., April 4.

“I think we are trending in the right direction towards meeting our goals,” Brett Geiser (senior, management) said.

“Our main goal is to win regionals and get to nationals in Denver. We’re looking like we are on pace to do that.”

The Cottrell Invitational began Sunday but, due to inclement weather, the first round wasn’t completed until Monday.

Entering Monday’s finale, the Crimson Hawks were four strokes back of Mercyhurst University but came back in the second round, shooting a 14-over 302, giving them a four-stroke win.

Josh Bartley (sophomore, business) led IUP, tying for second overall with a six-over 150, only two strokes back of Mercyhurst University’s Blaze Hogan.

IUP finished second in the tournament last year and did not compete in 2013.

Max Kirsch (junior, business) finished one stroke back of Bartley and tied for sixth, shooting a seven-over 151.

Geiser and Michael Hoare (sophomore, marketing) finished tied for ninth with an 11-over 155.

“It feels pretty good showing consistency and helping the team,” Geiser said.

“I know that I have to elevate my game in order to save those extra shots and be able to pull out a victory.”

Tyler Erb (sophomore, business) finished tied for 19th after shooting an 18-over 162.

Of the 38 individual participants, all five IUP golfers landed in the top-20.

“The team’s confidence is definitely very high, and the whole team is playing well,” Geiser said. “Our next [tournament] is at our home course, so we feel great coming in and are definitely looking to get that three-peat.”

The next time you can catch the Crimson Hawks in action will also be their final tune-up before the start of NCAA postseason play.

They’ll host the 53rd annual Cecil C. Spadafora Invitational at the Indiana Country Club Sunday and Monday.

Over the past five seasons, the Crimson Hawks have won the event twice and finished second three times. There have been a maximum 19 teams at this invitational twice and a minimum of 14 teams once. Hoare and Kirsch, tying for second, had the best individual finishes for IUP last year.