Jason D’Amore is a stats and numbers guy. Still, few rounds send him to the record books for motivation.
After his Loyola Marymount team went 17 under in the opening round of the Golfweek Fall Challenge at True Blue Golf Club on Pawleys Island, South Carolina, D’Amore decided to do a little digging. Knowing it’s sometimes hard to follow up a really good round, D’Amore decided to search for team and individual records to change the narrative.
“I just threw some numbers at them and had them more along the lines of hey, let’s go break some records and shoot these numbers versus being in first or second or third place,” D’Amore said. “We can’t control what the other teams are going to do but we know what we’re capable of. We set some goals for ourselves each day that were more based upon us than anyone else.”
The shift worked, as Loyola Marymount played the following 36 holes in 30 under and won the team title by a shot over Washington State on Sept. 12. The Lions landed three players inside the top 7 while individual medalist honors went to Washington State’s Pono Yanagi and Arkansas State’s Thomas Schmidt, who both finished at 17 under.
Scoring: Golfweek Fall Challenge
College golf may be an individual sport, but D’Amore knows that, for better or worse, players feed off each other. At True Blue, the Lions kept the goal-setting focused on themselves, letting the chips fall around them.
In the history of the Golfweek Fall Challenge, only three teams have gone below 30 under for 54 holes at True Blue. Campbell set the scoring record of 48 under when it won in 2018. The individual record remains with Jacksonville State alum Tomas Anderson, whose 19-under total in 2014 included a final-round 60.
How does a team go 47 under? D’Amore makes a case for consistency more than fireworks. Loyola Marymount counted at least three scores in the 60s in each round and never counted anything higher than 72. Inviting conditions also played a role, he noted.
“The greens were soft, the ball was going far, there wasn’t a lot of wind,” D’Amato said. “It was just kind of one of those perfect recipes where you got some guys that could play some good golf and the golf course really just didn’t have a ton of defense because of the conditions.”
Loyola Marymount was two shots off the lead entering the final round and was paired with Washington State and Western Carolina on the last day. All three teams fed off each other with birdies…