Aiden Konold ’26
The Holy Cross men’s golf team travels to Phoenix, MD this weekend to play in the Patriot League Men’s Golf Championship held at Hillendale Country Club. Holy Cross finished fifth at the Shark Invitational, sponsored by Long Island University, and won the Roar-EE Invitational sponsored by Columbia University on April 15th. This is Holy Cross’ first collegiate men’s golf tournament win since its 2019 Lehigh Invitational victory.
Christian Emmerich‘23 is coming fresh off Patriot League Men’s Golfer of the Week honors for the first time in Holy Cross men’s golf history. Emmerich said receiving this honor, “It doesn’t sink in now as it probably [will] in the future. Just playing golf now, trying to do the best I can. It’s a great accomplishment obviously. [And] it’s a good driving force for the other guys on the team, which for me means the most.”
This award not only boosts Emmerich’s confidence and motivation heading into the Patriot League Championship, but also the team’s. At the weather-shortened 18-hole Roar-EE Invitational, Emmerich shot a 67 (-5), good for co-medalist honors and his first collegiate golf tournament victory. Emmerich has been hitting his stride at the perfect time, putting Holy Cross in prime position heading into this weekend.
In addition to Emmerich’s strong play, underclassmen have been key contributors to Holy Cross’ success. Owen Egan‘25 was leading the team in scoring as of March 15th, averaging 73.44 strokes per 18 holes. Egan has averaged 71.83 strokes per 18 holes in his last six competitive rounds since. At the Roar-EE Invitational, Egan shot a 70 (-2), Brian Glennon‘26 shot a 69 (-3), and Nolan Schuermann‘25 shot a 75 (+3), while Emmerich shot his 67 (- 5) to round out the top 4 for Holy Cross.
At the Shark Invitational, Egan shot 216 over the course of the 3 days, Emmerich shot 218, Schuermann shot 226, and Matt Williams‘26 shot 231. Again, Emmerich was the only upperclassman to finish in Holy Cross’ top 4. In collegiate golf, the top 4 scores are accounted for in determining a team’s score and rank in the tournament. Having such young players place within the top 4 and be huge contributors to the Holy Cross golf program is key to its success going forward.
While the young golfers coming into the Holy Cross golf program have experience hitting different golf shots and are athletically talented golfers, Emmerich, as a senior, has helped younger players deal with the mental aspect of the game. Emmerich and Egan, close friends, have discussed the mental aspect frequently together. As Emmerich said of the mental aspect, “When you’re playing well, you’re starting to score well, [you have to] make sure that your mentality doesn’t change. You kind of don’t get stuck at 1 or 2-under. You kind of gotta keep going, keep playing the same way.” In golf, sometimes it is easier to grow complacent with steady play than it is playing to win. Emmerich wants Holy Cross to remain aggressive in their play to win rather than playing not to lose. Doing so will give them the best chance of succeeding this weekend at the Patriot League Men’s Golf Championship.
This season has been a great success for Holy Cross men’s golf primarily because of the significant contributions from younger players and the attractiveness of Holy Cross to talented high school golfers. The addition of younger talent and a higher quality of recruits to the Holy Cross Men’s Golf Program compared to years past has made it even more difficult for upperclassmen to play in the starting lineup. As Emmerich explained in a Spire interview, what makes the Holy Cross Golf Program attractive to young talent is “The quality of tournaments that we play in, [and the] excellent education. We play Worcester Country Club, which is one of the nicest courses in Massachusetts, and then also the talent we have and all of the guys on the team are unbelievable guys. They are the best friends I’ve ever had.” The Holy Cross men’s golf program has done a great job recruiting as of late, which will hopefully lead to sustained success for the program.
Steve Napoli, the Director of Golf at Holy Cross, said after the team’s victory at the Roar-EE Invitational, “We talk about winning all the time, how difficult it is to win a college tournament and the culture, dedication and confidence it takes to win… One of our team goals has been to get to the level of the more successful teams on campus. I’m also extremely pleased to see Christian Emmerich win his first college tournament by shooting five under par on a difficult golf course.”
Emmerich, who elected to take online classes his sophomore year during the COVID-19 pandemic, is granted two more years of collegiate golf eligibility. He is going to “use the two years to play elsewhere and get [his] MBA.” We will see if he can make one final splash with the Holy Cross men’s golf team this weekend before he graduates in the spring. This splash may bring with it the same status to Holy Cross men’s golf as is given to the other successful teams on campus which Napoli aspires to. Time will tell.
Featured image courtesy of goholycross.com Holy Cross Golf Schedule: Patriot League Championship
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