In their first tournament of the spring, the men's golf team finished in ninth place.

But now, there are higher aspirations for their second tournament.

This weekend the team will travel to Ponte Vedra, Florida, to participate in the John Hayt Invitational at Sawgrass Country Club.

This isn't an unfamiliar tournament; the team played there last season and had a fourth-place finish.

"I never played particularly well on that golf course," junior Lorenzo Scalise said. "I'll be really happy to get another solid tournament on a golf course which I'm not very comfortable with."

Another opportunity is one of the reasons the team expects to play well in this tournament.

The five-man team will include Scalise, Rhys Nevin, Juan Carlos Serrano, Jack Smith and Jake Meenhorst. Sophomore Nolan Ray will also be participating as an individual.

Of the six players, three – Smith, Scalise and Serrano – have previously participated in the John Hayt Invitational. This kind of experience gives the team confidence that they could best their fourth-place finish here last season, and their ninth-place finish in their spring-opening tournament.

"We know we can do better than that,” Nevin said. “We are determined to get a good result.”

While three of the players have participated in this tournament before, the other two team players haven't. Therefore, the play of young players Nevin and Meenhorst will be critical.

"Settling in and getting use to the golfs is not really an excuse anymore because I've played four tournaments," Nevin said.

The team has had nearly three weeks to prepare for this tournament, and the course will test every bit of that preparation.

Sawgrass Country Club is where PGA Tour pro golfers compete in The Players Championship each year. TPC Sawgrass has 27 holes, all of which challenge golfers with tough greens and at-times cruel pin placement.

The tournament will take place for three days over the weekend.

"The first tournament helped take away a little bit of the rust and everybody is in good shape for this weekend," Scalise said.

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