By Andrew Scarpaci
The OneLIU merger between the Post and Brooklyn campuses has brought space for a brand new team on campus: men’s golf. Ben Belfield was selected to be the first head coach of the program. He most recently served as head coach at Oral Roberts University in Oklahoma.
Belfield was not around when the announcement of the merger was made, or when LIU announced the beginning of the new golf program. He arrived in August 2019, so with little time to fill a whole roster, he made the most of what he could and selected players he felt would be great fit. He decided to focus on younger athletes. “I am looking to recruit fresh-man. I am here for the long term and want to bring in some fresh energy,” Belfield said.
Belfield believes sophomore Kyle Underwood will be his best player this year and expects him to be a “contender for PoY [Player of the Year] in the NEC.”
In terms of expectations for his players throughout their collegiate athletic careers, Belfield wants “players that love New York and want to be a part of chasing records.” He wants his players to work hard in order to prove that anything is possible, and to “chase results” as his team looks to compete in the NEC.
The team played its first competition at the Hartford Hawks Invitational and two players, junior Jayden Brown and sophomore Abelardo Yepez, were sent out to represent the team. The two-day event took place from Friday, Sept. 16 to Saturday, Sept. 17. Yepez recorded a three-round total of 235 strokes. This placed him 73rd overall in the tournament, while Brown shot a 238, which put him at 80th in the competition.
The team played its first competition as team on Sunday, Oct. 6 and Monday, Oct. 7 at the Matthews Auto Collegiate Invitational. The team finished as No.13 out of 17 teams.
The Sharks traveled to Grasonville Mary-land for their matchup at the Towson Fall Invitational on Saturday, Oct. 19 and Sunday, Oct. 20 and finished 8th of nine teams.