Spotlight on | Golf

Barry women’s golf could be next national powerhouse

 
 

Shannon Sykora, Barry University women's golf coach, is pictured.
Shannon Sykora, Barry University women's golf coach, is pictured.
Barry University

Special to the Miami Herald

Shannon Sykora was absolutely ecstatic when he was named the Barrry University women’s golf coach some two years ago.

Of course, the title came with the word “interim” attached.

That “interim” part of his title has since gone away. The school more than happily blotted it out after Sykora’s team finished third in the nation a year ago and is currently ranked second in the country.

Not only that, one of his players — Nancy Vergara, a junior from Venezuela — became the school’s first individual national champion in any sport a year ago.

Other key players on this year’s team include:

• Nicky Ferre, a sophomore from Weston. She is ranked second in Division II for this season, and has not finished out of the top five in four tournaments so far.

• Maria Paola Fiorio, a sophomore from Italy. Her nickname is M.P. and she is one of the starting players and a team leader.

• Daniela Murray, a junior from Brazil. “She is very precise with a good short game,” Sykora said.

• Francesca Perini, a junior from Italy. “Also a good short game,” Sykora said. “A strong putter and a good scorer.”

• Martina Bertuccioli, a freshman from Argentina. She has been in the starting lineup for three of the first four tournaments.

• Paloma Vega, a freshman from Spain.

• Paola Grande, a junior from Miami Christian, Eiken Hansen, a sophomore from Germany, and Carolina Heredia, a freshman from Colombia, round out the team.

“This absolutely feels good,” said Sykora, 41. “I’m fortunate to have a great bunch of players.”

Then Sykora quickly adds, “Smart players. They have the No. 1 GPA at the school. They work hard in the classroom and on the golf course.”

The fact that each of them is an underclassman bodes well for the future, and Sykora points out the obvious when he says, “There’s a nice international atmosphere to the team. Miami is a great international city and kids love to come here.”

Sykora’s background includes some golfing travels himself, playing on the South American and European tours, a few PGA events and the former Nationwide Tour that is now the Web.com tour. “But my competitive days are over,” added Sykora, who is a University of Tulsa graduate.

Making things difficult for Barry and Sykora is the Division II regional that Barry plays in with fellow powerhouses Nova Southeastern, Lynn, Rollins and Florida Southern. “All highly ranked,” Sykora said. “The regional might be tougher to win than the national.”

And what about that national, coach?

“I think we have a shot at No. 1,” he said.

With the Barry men coached by Jimmy Stobs currently ranked No. 1 in the nation, the possibility of a No. 1 sweep by Barry is possible, but we shouldn’t be mentioning that.

Sykora plays the possibility cautiously.

“We don’t talk about a sweep,” he said. “We just talk about what we have to do to play the best that we can play.”

THAT’S A FACT, JACK

Many presidents — Dwight Eisenhower, Bill Clinton, John F. Kennedy and Barack Obama, to name a few — have been avid golfers. But the biggest presidential fan of the game might have been Woodrow Wilson. He was so enamored with the sport that he would play in the winter in the snow, and would use black golf balls so he could find his ball.

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  • PGA European - Italian Open Preview

    Thursday, August 28th through Sunday, August 31st Course Info Site: Circolo Golf Torino, Fiano, Torino, Italy Course Architect: John Morrison (1956), Graham Cooke and Mario Croze -redesign Par: 72 Yardage: 7,208 Hole by Hole Front Nine: 36 3,555 Yds 1 - Par 5 511 Yds 2 - Par 4 414 Yds 3 - Par 4 412 Yds 4 - Par 4 423 Yds 5 - Par 3 178 Yds 6 - Par 4 466 Yds 7 - Par 4 398 Yds 8 - Par 3 195 Yds 9 - Par 5 558 Yds Back Nine: 36 3,653 Yds 10 - Par 4 427 Yds 11 - Par 4 427 Yds 12 - Par 5 531 Yds 13 - Par 3 186 Yds 14 - Par 4 371 Yds 15 - Par 5 593 Yds 16 - Par 3 220 Yds 17 - Par 4 465 Yds 18 - Par 4 433 Yds Tournament Info Year: 71st Television: Golf Channel - Thursday -- 5:30-7:30 a.m. (et), -- 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (et), - Friday -- 6-7:30 a.m. (et), 9:30 a.m.-12 p.m. (et), - Saturday -- 7-11 a.m. (et), - Sunday -- 7-11:30 a.m. (et) Champion: Julien Quesne Runner Up: Steve Webster, David Higgins Tournament Record: 262 (Peter Alliss, 1935) 54-Hole Record: 194 (Hennie Otto, 2008) 36-Hole Record: 128 (Ian Poulter, 2002) Course Record: 66 (Romain Wattel and Scott Hend, 2013) Total Purse: $1,975,292 (1,500,000 euros) Shares: 2013 Final Leaderboard Julien Quesne 276 Steve Webster 277 David Higgins 277 Fredrik Andersson Hed 278 Nicolas Colsaerts 278 Felipe Aguilar 278 Emiliano Grillo 278 Six players at 279 Past Winners 2013: Julien Quesne (276). Runner up: Steve Webster, David Higgins 2012: Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (264). Runner up: Garth Mulroy 2011: Robert Rock (267). Runner up: Gary Boyd, Thorbjorn Olesen 2010: Fredrik Andersson Hed (272). Runner up: David Horsey 2009: Daniel Vancsik (267). Runner up: Raphael Jacquelin, John Daly, Robert Rock 2008: Hennie Otto (263). Runner up: Oliver Wilson 2007: *#Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (200). Runner up: Markus Brier 2006: Francesco Molinari (265). Runner up: Anders Hansen, Jarmo Sandelin 2005: Steve Webster (270). Runner up: Anders Hansen, Bradley Dredge, Richard Finch 2004: *#Graeme McDowell (197). Runner up: Thomas Levet 2003: Mathias Gronberg (271). Runner up: Jose Manuel Lara, Colin Montgomerie, Ricardo Gonzalez 2002: #Ian Poulter (197). Runner up: Paul Lawrie 2001: Gregory Havret (268). Runner up: Bradley Dredge 2000: Ian Poulter (267). Runner up: Gordon Brand, Jr. 1999: Dean Robertson (271). Runner up: Padraig Harrington 1998: #Patrik Sjoland (195). Runner up: Jose Maria Olazabal, Joakim Haeggman 1997: Bernhard Langer (273). Runner up: Jose Maria Olazabal 1996: Jim Payne (275). Runner up: Patrik Sjoland 1995: Sam Torrance (269). Runner up: Jose Rivero 1994: Eduardo Romero (272). Runner up: Greg Turner 1993: Greg Turner (267). Runner up: Jose Coceres 1992: Sandy Lyle (270). Runner up: Colin Montgomerie 1991: Craig Parry (279). Runner up: Ian Woosnam 1990: Richard Boxall (267). Runner up: Jose Maria Olazabal 1989: Ronan Rafferty (273). Runner up: Sam Torrance 1988: Greg Norman (270). Runner up: Craig Parry 1987: *Sam Torrance (271). Runner up: Jose Rivero 1986: *David Feherty (270). Runner up: Ronan Rafferty 1985: Manuel Pinero (267). Runner up: Sam Torrance 1984: Sandy Lyle (277). Runner up: Bobby Clampett 1983: *Bernhard Langer (271). Runner up: Seve Ballesteros, Ken Brown 1982: Mark James (280). Runner up: Ian Woosnam, Bobby Clampett 1981: *Jose Maria Canizares (280). Runner up: Bobby Clampett 1980: Massimo Mannelli (276). Runner up: John Bland, Ken Brown 1979: Brian Barnes (281). Runner up: Dale Hayes 1978: Dale Hayes (293). Runner up: Tommy Horton, Vin Baker 1977: Angel Gallardo (286). Runner up: Brian Barnes 1976: Baldovino Dassu (280). Runner up: Carl Mason, Manuel Pinero 1975: Billy Casper (286). Runner up: Brian Barnes 1974: Peter Oosterhuis (249). Runner up: Dale Hayes, Johnny Miller 1973: Tony Jacklin (284). Runner up: Valentin Barrios 1972: Norman Wood (271). Runner up: Brian Huggett 1971: Ramon Sota (282). Runner up: Brian Barnes 1970: Not Held. Runner up: 1969: Not Held. Runner up: 1968: Not Held. Runner up: 1967: Not Held. Runner up: 1966: Not Held. Runner up: 1965: Not Held. Runner up: 1964: Not Held. Runner up: 1963: Not Held. Runner up: 1962: Not Held. Runner up: 1961: Not Held. Runner up: 1960: B.Wilkes (285). Runner up: Aldo Casera 1959: Peter Thomson (269). Runner up: A. Angelini 1958: Peter Alliss (282). Runner up: A. Angelini 1957: Harold Henning (273). Runner up: R. Cotton 1956: A.Cerda (284). Runner up: Flora van Donck 1955: Flora van Donck (287) - H. DeLamaze. Runner up: 1954: Ugo Grappasonni (272). Runner up: J. Jacobs 1953: Flora van Donck (267). Runner up: L. Faulkner 1952: E.Brown (273). Runner up: D. Rees 1951: J.Adams (289). Runner up: E. Brown, A. Angelini 1950: Ugo Grappasonni (281). Runner up: A. Angelini 1949: H.Hassanein (263). Runner up: Aldo Casera 1948: Aldo Casera (267). Runner up: P. Manca, Ugo Grappasonni 1947: Flory Van Donck (263). Runner up: Aldo Casera 1946: Not Held. Runner up: 1945: Not Held. Runner up: 1944: Not Held. Runner up: 1943: Not Held. Runner up: 1942: Not Held. Runner up: 1941: Not Held. Runner up: 1940: Not Held. Runner up: 1939: Not Held. Runner up: 1938: Flory van Donck (276). Runner up: P. Travaini 1937: M.Dallegagne (276). Runner up: Auguste Boyer 1936: Henry Cotton (268). Runner up: J. Ezar 1935: Peter Alliss (262). Runner up: Auguste Boyer 1934: N.Nutley (132). Runner up: Gonzales 1933: Not Held. Runner up: 1932: A.Boomer (143). Runner up: Auguste Boyer 1931: Auguste Boyer (141). Runner up: R. Golias 1930: Auguste Boyer (140). Runner up: A. Dallemagne 1929: R.Golias (143). Runner up: Auguste Boyer 1928: Auguste Boyer (145). Runner up: Loth 1927: Peter Alliss (145). Runner up: M. Dallemagne 1926: Auguste Boyer (147). Runner up: A. Ross 1925: Francesco Pasquali (154). Runner up: W.H. Jolly * - Won in Playoff # - Rain Shortened Formerly called BMW Italian Open (2009-12), Methorios Capital Italian Open (2008), Telecom Italia Open (2002-07), Atlanet Italian Open (2001), Fiat & Fila Italian Open (1999), Conte of Florence Italian Open (1996), Tisettanta Italian Open (1994), Lancia-Martini Italian Open (1990-93), Lancia Italian Open (1987-89), Italian Open (1971-86, 95, 98, 2000). Top Contenders Julien Quesne 2004: 2005: 2006: 2007: 2008: 2009: 2010: mc 2011: 2012: mc 2013: Won Steve Webster 2004: 2005: Won 2006: mc 2007: mc 2008: T-23 2009: 2010: T-46 2011: T-33 2012: T-57 2013: T-2 David Higgins 2004: 2005: 2006: mc 2007: mc 2008: 2009: 2010: 2011: 2012: 2013: T-2 Nicolas Colsaerts 2004: mc 2005: T-32 2006: T-12 2007: T-30 2008: 2009: 2010: T-3 2011: 2012: T-5 2013: T-4 F. Andersson Hed 2004: T-28 2005: mc 2006: 2007: T-3 2008: mc 2009: T-54 2010: Won 2011: T-15 2012: T-35 2013: T-4 Hennie Otto 2004: 2005: mc 2006: T-33 2007: 2008: Won 2009: mc 2010: T-7 2011: T-46 2012: T-22 2013: T-8 Francesco Molinari 2004: T-13 2005: T-17 2006: Won 2007: T-3 2008: mc 2009: T-6 2010: 2011: T-8 2012: T-46 2013: T-16 Matteo Manassero 2004: 2005: 2006: 2007: 2008: 2009: T-25 2010: T-29 2011: T-8 2012: T-3 2013: T-42 Gregory Bourdy 2004: 2005: T-60 2006: T-33 2007: T-60 2008: T-30 2009: 2010: T-22 2011: T-11 2012: T-3 2013: T-42 Simon Dyson 2004: 2005: 2006: 2007: 2008: 2009: 2010: wd 2011: 2012: 2013: T-47 Mathias Gronberg 2004: 2005: 2006: 2007: 2008: 2009: T-42 2010: 2011: 2012: mc 2013: T-66 Jose M. Olazabal 2004: mc 2005: 2006: 2007: 2008: 2009: 2010: 2011: 2012: T-63 2013: 70th R. Cabrera Bello 2004: 2005: 2006: 2007: T-56 2008: T-51 2009: 2010: mc 2011: T-67 2012: 9th 2013: mc Robert Rock 2004: T-48 2005: T-37 2006: mc 2007: T-56 2008: T-51 2009: T-2 2010: T-17 2011: Won 2012: T-46 2013: mc Joost Luiten 2004: 2005: 2006: 2007: 2008: 2009: 2010: T-32 2011: 5th 2012: mc 2013: Stephen Gallacher 2004: T-48 2005: T-70 2006: 2007: 2008: mc 2009: mc 2010: mc 2011: 2012: 2013: NOTES: One of the most storied events on the European Tour schedule, the Italian Open takes center stage this week. This tournament dates back to 1925. Some of the European Tour's best are in the United States competing in the PGA Tour Playoffs. However, three of the top 50 players in the world are in the field - Stephen Gallacher (34), Italian Francesco Molinari (44) and Joost Luiten (50).

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