Charles Cerami ‘22 and five additional members of Fairfield University’s Club Golf team will be traveling to Hilton Head, South Carolina this weekend to compete at the National Collegiate Club Golf Association National Championship.
Club golf, a group consisting of twenty players, practices at the local Fairchild Wheeler Golf Course to prepare for the tournaments.
In order to secure a ticket to Nationals, the Club Golf team had to face two regional qualifiers, where they competed against teams from Quinnipiac University, Sacred Heart University and other surrounding colleges.
Cerami, the club golf team’s president, was excited to play against local rival and first year team from Quinnipiac University.
To get a bid to Nationals, the team needed to win both regional qualifiers. Eight of the team members compete in a tournament and the team score is a collection of the five best scores from the group.
At the first regional qualifier at Longview Country Club, the team celebrated with a landslide victory, winning by over 30 strokes. Alex Kassabian, a senior member of the club golf team, was a noticeable standout after shooting even par for the two-day event.
Despite the overall excitement of the huge victory, the team still faced one final qualifier tournament. This time, in Middlefield, Conn., the team battled against an intense field of colleges.
Winning by a narrow margin of only two strokes, Fairfield had punched their ticket to Nationals by ranking 29th in the country for all club golf teams on the collegiate level.
While the southern schools the team will compete against play in weekly matches, Fairfield’s club team will go into the tournament with only the two regional tournaments under their belt.
“It’s only the regional tournament and we only have two [total tournaments],” Cerami said. “Meanwhile, teams have tournaments every weekend and the fact that we’re still in the top 30 just from two tournaments is incredible to think about.”
The team’s impressive rank puts them against a tough competition of colleges, as schools including the University of Tampa, the University of Oregon, the University of Alabama and Michigan State University will be in attendance at Nationals.
The Fairfield Nationals’ lineup consists of six upperclassmen, including Charles Cerami, Andrew Hliboki ‘22, Alex Kassabian ‘22, Nick Aicardi ‘23, Brendan Huelbig ‘23 and William Leonard ‘23.
As the six players prepare for the trip to South Carolina, they anticipate a strong performance.
“Out of the 18 to 20 teams going, we’re looking at 12th to 15th right now,” Cerami said. “But my team is going in there with the mindset that we’re placing in the top five and we’re getting the win.”
Cerami will be attending his third Nationals this year, as he prepares his team for the challenging two-day tournament ahead of them.
Cerami added that the team has a positive outlook for their trip, as they look forward to spending time together as a team, bonding in the hotel, and playing on a great golf course. As soon as they arrive, Cerami plans to take the team directly to the course to begin practicing in anticipation for the tournament.
The Club Golf team leaves Friday, November 12 for South Carolina. The National tournament will be held from November 13th to 14th at the Palmetto Dunes course in South Carolina.