Corey Purcell of the College of Saint Rose and Shaker Ridge CC tees off on #2, his 11th hole during round 2 of the NYS Men’s Amateur at Mohawk Golf Club in Niskayuna on Wednesday, August 10, 2016. He shot 79-76 to miss the cut.
KNIGHTS READY FOR REGIONALS
By Bob Weiner
Corey Purcell remembers when his father used to call him a “mental midget on the golf course.” The talented College of Saint Rose senior, always a strong ball-striker, has come a long way since then with every facet of his game.
Although Saint Rose previously sent five individuals to the NCAA Championship, including Purcell last season, this is the first time the Golden Knights will field a complete team at the prestigious event. Purcell T49 a year ago in the NCAA regionals at Timber Banks Golf Club in Baldwinsville.
As the only player on the team with NCAA tournament experience, Purcell was asked what he would say to his younger teammates.
“I haven’t gone there yet, but all I know is that this is a great opportunity for all of us,” the Clifton Park-native and Catholic Central graduate said in a telephone interview Tuesday night after a practice session at Pinehaven Country Club. “I’m going to embrace this opportunity. When I do talk to my teammates I’m going to impress upon them that you can never take being here for granted.”
Purcell said that although last year’s NCAA tournament experience was rewarding, it wasn’t all that he had hoped for, because he was solo. “I had kind of a sour taste in my mouth,” he said. “My teammates weren’t there with me. I am so happy to be going back to the NCAAs with all of my teammates.”
Corey Purcell won the Northeast-10 title on Monday, October 3 at Olde Kinderhook Golf Club. Photo: College of Saint Rose.
GREATEST CSR PLAYER
“Corey’s game has improved every season he’s been on the team, and that’s hard to do,” CSR fifth-year head coach Scott Warren said. Warren is also the Director of Golf at Pinehaven Country Club.
Scott Warren has been the College of Saint Rose men’s golf coach for five seasons.
“He knocked three-quarters of a stroke off his scoring average this year, and that’s very impressive for a skilled player at his level. He understands the big picture. There is a confidence and a calm aura about him this season. He can hit all the shots. He’s not only a good and accomplished player, but he’s also a fine young man.
“What I want people to know about Corey is that I recruited him when Saint Rose wasn’t a very good team at all,” Warren said. “I consider Corey to be the greatest Saint Rose player ever, because helped build this program to what it is today. I will never be able to repay him for what he has done for this program. He changed the culture here.”
FIVE FOR FIGHTING
Joining Purcell on the five-man starting team for the regionals are junior Brian Pesavento, sophomores Michael Pilkington and Alex Gibson (Glens Falls), and freshman Kyle Adams (CBA). They are all shooting within nearly a stroke of each other, from 77.76 to 78.69.
Seniors Cody Husek (Broadalbin-Perth) and Cullen Spang, and freshmen Connor Adams (CBA), Patrick O’Donnell and Shi Yang Liu have all made key contributions for the Knights.
The Adams twins, from Schenectady, are the younger brothers of former Saint Rose standout Seth Adams.
Cody Husek. Photo: Tom Killips/CSR.
Cullen Spang. Photo: College of Saint Rose.
“We are honored at the opportunity to represent Saint Rose at the NCAA Division II golf regional championship,” Warren said. “It has been a tremendous and historic season, and we are thrilled to be able to continue competing. I am proud of our team, for not only are they wonderful golfers, but they are fabulous young men.”
The top three teams, at minimum, and the top two individuals not with a team from each regional will advance to the NCAA finals May 22-26 at Reunion Resort in Kissimmee, FL.
For the first time in school history, the College of Saint Rose men’s golf team is headed to the NCAA DII Tournament. Photo provided.