With back-to-back tournaments, the Kenyon golf team continued its fall season in Douglasville, Georgia, at the West Pines Collegiate, hosted by Oglethorpe University (Ga.), where the Owls tied for seventh in a field of 18 teams. Then this past week, the Owls headed to the Tartan Invitational in Ligonier, Pennsylvania, hosted by Carnegie Mellon University (Pa.).
In the two-round tournament the team was once again paced by two first-years: Jaiden Koonar ’27 and Jonathan Oakes ’27. In the Owls’ first round of play on Monday, the team shot for a score of 305, leaving Kenyon in a tie for 10th place. Both Koonar and Oakes scored a three-over round of 74, while Garrett Thesing ’24 followed close behind, shooting 77.
A day later, the Owls headed back to the fairways with newfound confidence. Both first-years headed the charge, as Koonar carded seven birdies and an eagle on the day for a final score of 143, earning him eighth place in the field of 96. Oakes went 1-under and ended the weekend with a 144 and tie for 9th. Will Hulsey ’26 rounded out the top three Kenyon finishes, shooting a 75 on Tuesday. The team shot a 292 in the final round on Tuesday, giving them a total team score of 597 for the weekend.
Koonar was pleased with the Owls’ comeback: “We were all pretty happy with how solid this tournament went,” he wrote in an email to the Collegian. “[W]e showed ourselves that we can limit high scores, but we want to make our lowest scores even lower”.
A week later, the Owls took part in the Tartan Invitational at the Laurel Valley Golf Club. Kenyon sent five golfers — Oakes, Koonar, Thesing, Hulsey and Robbie Lifson ’27. Just like in their last outing, the Owls rallied on the second day to move up a few places, finishing in 8th and shooting an overall team score of 926 on the par 72 course. Looking to continue his stellar first season in Ligonier, Koonar shot a 222 with rounds of 76, 73 and 73, earning him a fifth-place individual finish out of 75 other golfers. This finish led him to be named in the All-Tournament team as one of the top seven performers. Koonar’s performance was followed up by Oakes, who shot a three-round total of 232 with rounds of 80, 75 and 77.
With the fall season now over, the Owls will return in the spring hoping to take back the conference crown they won just two seasons ago. Koonar is eager to return in March, and is optimistic about the 2024 season: “We have a solid team this year and if we keep practicing hard I think we will be in contention in quite a few tournaments this spring.”