Tuesday, October 10, 2017

A Pair Of Aces

As you know, TigerBlog is awful at golf.

There was a time when he wasn't this bad. He was just merely very below average. He actually broke 100 once, at Ivy football media day, back when that was an annual outing.

His downfall has always been his short game, especially the sand traps. And that he gets bored after a few holes.

TigerBlog did once play with someone who had a hole in one. This was back in the early 1990s, in North Carolina. 

It was a par-3, about 155 yards, and the green was slightly elevated. The ball disappeared as it reached the green, leaving only the sound of the contact it made with the flag stick. When TigerBlog's group reached the top of the green and saw no ball, that meant it was either in the hole or had bounced far beyond it.

As Bill Murray might have observed, it was "in the hole."

And what was the reaction of the person who had the hole in one? "This will really help my score."

So yes, that was understated a bit.

The fall is not the championship season for Princeton golf or tennis, but both teams in both sports have some important competitions. And Princeton's men's golf team has taken full advantage of the fall to make a little history.

Princeton has had a pair of golfers, sophomore Evan Quinn and freshman Jake Mayer, have both knocked in holes-in-one so far this fall. Mayer did it two weekends ago at Yale. Quinn did it this past weekend in Illinois.

That's two golfers from one team with aces on consecutive weekends. That's not too shabby.

A little investigation with head coach Will Green revealed that there have been several holes in one during his tenure. Still, two in two weekends is unique stuff.

The championship season for golf and tennis is the spring. Still, two aces were worth a fall mention, no?

There is one home event for Princeton this week, and it's tonight, when the men's soccer team hosts St. John's, with gametime at 7. Admission is free.

Princeton defeated its last Big East opponent, Villanova, 2-0, on Myslik Field at Roberts Stadium a week ago.

As for the women's soccer team, it took the Tigers less time to score two goals to turn a loss into a win than it did for you to read from the start to this point.

Princeton gave up a goal to Brown in the first half and then played from behind the whole way, finally breaking through with 15 minutes to go, when Courtney O'Brien scored after a bit of a scramble in front.

And then, 56 seconds later, she scored again. You can see them HERE.

That's two goals by Courtney O'Brien in less than a minute. When was the last time a Princeton player did that?

TigerBlog thought that maybe Esmeralda Negron did it in the 2004 game at Cornell. TigerBlog was at that game, and he remembered Negron scoring a bunch of goals (turned out to be three) in a short time. It turns out that the shortest interval between goals was eight minutes.

If it's happened before at Princeton, TB can't think of it off the top of his head. And if it has happened, it can't be something that too many players have ever done.

The 2-1 win over Brown improved Princeton to 11-1 overall and 3-0 in the league. The Tigers are ranked an incredible sixth in Division I in RPI. That's ahead of powerhouses like UCLA, Florida State, Florida and Penn State.

Up next for Princeton is the only other unbeaten team in the league, Columbia, in a game Saturday at Roberts Stadium, in the nightcap of a doubleheader that begins with the men's game at 4. Admission to both games will be free.

Princeton has had an incredible season to date, but the Tigers saw a year ago how fast it can slip away. That's why the win over Brown was so big. It was a home loss to Brown last season that started a late season slide that cost Princeton postseason.

This time around, Princeton has outscored its first 12 opponents by a combined 27-3. That's ridiculous.

At the same time, none of it will matter Saturday, when the Tigers need to keep it going against Columbia, or with challenges after that against Harvard, Cornell and Penn still to go.

Winning championships aren't supposed to be easy, right?

And, how about one last thing for today.

TigerBlog mentioned a few weeks ago how hard Odell Beckham Jr. had made it to root for the Giants. TB was surprised at the response to Beckham's season-ending injury Sunday. It's almost like some people were happy about it.  

TigerBlog isn't saying he agrees with that thinking. But he can't help but think that, hey, this is what Beckham brought on himself.

Not to get all high and mighty or anything, but it's a reminder to TigerBlog of why he likes Princeton sports so much.

It's easy to root for the players.

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