The men’s golf team is halfway through the fall season after competing in the Mercyhurst Invitational in Erie, Pennsylvania, this past weekend. The Gators finished in seventh out of 14 teams, while also having two players finish in the top 25.
It was a tough field for Allegheny at the Lake View Country Club, as they were one of two teams to compete representing the Division III level. The other Division III school in the event was Penn State Behrend, who finished 12th, while the rest of the field were schools representing Division II — including the Gannon University Golden Knights, who took home the gold.
Zachary Melzar, ’25, led the way for the Blue and Gold, finishing in a tie for 17th place with back-to-back rounds of 75, good for six-over-par for the event. Melzar bested his score from last season, when he competed at the Lake View Country Club in a team match against Mercyhurst shooting a single round of 77.
“You have your ups and downs,” Melzar said. “(I’m) just having fun playing golf, chasing the white ball, and not trying to force anything.”
Moving through his sophomore campaign, Melzar has boasted two top-25 finishes at the beginning of the season. He has elevated his mentality, honing in on living in the moment and not getting hung up on previous shots or events.
Having more experience than he did last year, Melzar understands that golf demands hard work. During the off season, he put time into his short game and putting. One of his favorite drills was playing “worst ball,” where Melzar would find the worst place on the greens to play from and try to hit good shots from difficult positions.
“I know when I have to compete, things happen,” Melzar said. “If you’re able to get up and down from the worst shots, then you should be able to get up and down from some pretty good spots.”
A few spots behind Melzar was another Gator, Carter Hassenplug, ’25, who placed in a tie for 22nd. Hassenplug has been a dominant force for Allegheny since his arrival last year. He has claimed three top-25 finishes, including a 7th-place finish, in his first three tournaments of this season, and is looking to continue to positively impact his team.
Hassenplug was named one of two captains on the roster this year for Allegheny. While it is most common to see juniors and seniors being given that honor, Hassenplug was grateful and opportunistic to hear his name with such high praise. He has taken the leadership role to heart, as one of his objectives this season is to fire his players up before matches, talking individually with his teammates and sending group text messages before the players compete.
“I’m grateful for it,” Hassenplug said. “I’m glad the coach looked at me as a leader. I don’t want to pat myself on the back for it, it’s just a title, but definitely extra motivation.”
The role of a captain has a lot of responsibilities embedded in the title. Hassenplug and Shane Kelley, ’23, the other captain for the Gators this season, have to take into consideration travel plans for the team when they are going on the road such as, who is competing on the roster week in and week out and what the team will will wear, along with scheduling on the day of a match. In addition to this, the two have to keep their own games sharp, while being diligent outside the game of golf taking care of class commitments and other duties of being a college athlete.
Hassenplug is in the midst of chasing his first tournament victory. With some close calls last season, finishing in second place during the Transylvania Fall Invitational and finishing third in the North Coast Athletic Conference Championships, he will be looking to add a new medallion to his achievements believing he is close to accomplishing his goal.
Another Gator that competed well during the Mercyhurst Fall Invitational was Bergas Anargya, ’25, placing in a tie for 27th. Coming from Jakarta, Indonesia, Anargya has experienced golf in a way many players cannot, playing at different courses across the world and having a chance to engage in different styles of the game.
Anargya’s focus this off-season was to play full practice games, as he wanted to gain an edge on how to be aggressive in the right spots to score his best. After competing in his first event of the season last weekend, he has continued to show promise and improvement, as he looks to add a top-10 finish to his resume by the end of the year.
“In order to score you have to play the course,” Anargya said. “That is something I really wanted to work on, just playing a lot of games on the course. You practice how you play and you play how you practice.”
Allegheny’s next event will be this weekend, at the Guy and Jeanne Kuhn Invitational — a two day event from Sunday, Sept. 25 through Monday, Sept. 26 at The Country Club of Meadville. It is their first and only home match of the season, as they look to impress the field with a couple of low scoring rounds.