Men’s golf swings into competition

By John Ostapowicz

After a 132 day break, the Youngstown State University men’s golf team swung back into action, Sept. 3 and 4, at the Red Bandana Invitational hosted by Boston College.

The two-day invitational featured 14 universities and 54 holes, which stretched 7,105 yards in total, at the Turning Stone Resort Kaluhyat Course in Verona, New York. 

For Youngstown State, the lineup consisted of senior transfer Justin Atkinson, redshirt senior Dean Austalosh, junior Jacob Sylak, sophomore Ryan Sam and freshman Jake Ryan.

The Penguins have five returning golfers in their lineup to bolster the teams depth and add veteran experience. With the addition of two transfers, two redshirts and three freshmen to the roster, the team is poised for a successful season.

At the invitational, Austalosh tied for 36th in the individual standings with a three-round score of 233 to finish as the Penguins’ top golfer.

Although the veteran players made an impact on the green, Ryan finished his first collegiate event with a three-round total of 235.

After having a memorable summer off-season at the PGA Northern Ohio Section Collegiate Series, Sylak finished tied for 50th at the invitational with a score of 237 to help the Penguins’ total score.

For Sylak, having a team behind him makes a difference in his confidence from individual summer tournaments to the team invitationals.

“Even if you’re not having a good day and you don’t think you’re really in it, the other guys might be and you have to find a way to put it all in the past and keep going,” Sylak said. 

To round out the Penguins’ lineup, Sam tied for 54th with 239 and Atkinson tied for 58th with a total score of 240. 

Transferring during the offseason from the University of Findlay, Atkinson returns home to Youngstown to finish out his historic career. Over three seasons, he was named the G-MAC Freshman of the Year and three time First-Team All-G-MAC. 

Returning home to round out his career, Atkinson said he feels welcomed on the team and is excited for the remainder of the season. 

“Transitioning from Division II to Division I, it’s a lot stronger competition but I feel that I have the game where I can go out and compete,” Atkinson said. “I’m excited to go out there and compete.” 

All five golfers combined for a three-round total of 936. The highest mark came in the second round, at 316. The Penguins finished the event ninth out of its 14 competitors. 

The men’s golf team continued its fall season Sept. 11 and 12 at the Joe Feaganes Marshall University Invitational at the Guyan Golf & Country Club in Huntington, West Virginia.  

The invitational itself is in honor of former Marshall men’s golf coach, Joe Feaganes, who coached the team from 1972 through 2002.

The lineup at the invitational showed the addition of fifth year Jimmy Graham and redshirt freshman Michael Porter.

Porter competed as an individual and finished tied for 49th in his debut collegiate tournament. In the first round he finished three-under-par 68 and became the first freshman since 2013 to record this feat. Porter also recorded a three-round best of 220. 

The Penguins finished the invitational with a three-round team total of 872 as Atkinson finished tied for 10th with a score of 209 and earned his first top-10 finish of the season. 

The men’s golf team rounds out its busy invitational slate Sept. 25 and 26 at The Virtues Invitational hosted by Miami University in Nashport, Ohio.