Historic Season for Cayuga Golfers

Members of the Cayuga Men's Golf Team proudly display their plaque from the Region III Tournament.
Members of the Cayuga Men's Golf Team proudly display their plaque from the Region III Tournament.

Featuring a deep roster with three All-Region players, the Cayuga Golf Team scored one of the best seasons in program history in 2019.

The Spartans excelled in every match of the 2019 season, as they captured the Mid-State Athletic Conference (MSAC) title and placed second in the Region III tournament, where their top three finishers were named to the All-Region team. 

Not satisfied with the dominant season and strong regional showing, the Spartans finished eighth in the National Junior College Athletic Association championship tournament, capping a historic season for the program.

"It was an incredible season. This was a group that was not satisfied with just showing up at a tournament. They wanted to compete and play well and bring home a MSAC title, and they did," said Coach Steve Leary. "Everyone came together to contribute to our success, and that's really what made the season special."

Cayuga came out of the gate strong, finishing second in their first tournament before capturing back-to-back wins in tournaments hosted by Onondaga Community College and Tompkins-Cortland, respectively.

Consecutive second-place finishes preceded the team winning the Jefferson Community College Invitational, earning the team its first MSAC title since 1998.

The Spartans closed their regular season with a dramatic one-stroke win in the Genesee Invitational before finishing second in the Region III tournament and qualifying for nationals. Hunter Hubel, Ryan Chalupnicki and E.J. Townsend were all named to the All-Region team.

Jenna Fields also had a strong season for the Spartans, winning tournaments in Auburn and the invitationals at Onondaga and Tompkins-Cortland.

The team's success also included never finishing lower than second in any regular season tournament or the Region III tournament, which Leary said was evidence of the team's dedication.

"Golf is a game that demands discipline and mental toughness. Winning or finishing second in every tournament is mind-blowing, and I think it just shows how special this team was," said Leary.

At Nationals, the Spartans exhibited that resilience when they overcame a rough start to push their way up the leaderboard before finishing eighth. 

Hubel was named Second-Team All-American after finishing 7th overall, a remarkable climb after a difficult first day left him in 40th position.

Hubel finished the regular season with the lowest scoring average in Region III, and had one of only six scores of 72 or lower over four rounds at Nationals. 

Townsend and Chalupnicki also had top scoring averages for the region, with Townsend finishing with the 7th lowest average score and Chalupnicki finishing 9th.

Leary added to the Spartans' season honors when he was named MSAC Coach of the Year.