Freshman Peter Ballo finished second overall at the Mission Inn Intercollegiate last weekend.
Ballo completed the tournament with a score of 76-66-70-212 (-1), which tied him for second place in the tournament individually with Appalachian State’s Casey Johnson and Florida Gulf Coast’s Josh Leppo.
After shooting a 76 on the first day of the tournament, Ballo responded by shooting a 66 on the second day, the lowest score of the tournament by any golfer. He finished the tournament with a 70 on the third day.
“I didn’t really expect this. It felt really good,” said Ballo. “In the second round, it felt like nothing could go wrong for me.”
For a freshman like Ballo who was playing in only his third collegiate tournament, a performance like this can be seen as a huge confidence boost going into the next tournament.
“I expected to have success, but I didn’t really expect to be second. I felt like I can play with them, and help the team out as best as I can,” said Ballo. “It made me feel like I can maybe come close to winning one. But now I know that it’s possible.”
Ballo’s older brother Mike, who is also a member of the St. John’s Men’s Golf Team, sees that his brother is making a good contribution to the team’s success. “It’s good anytime a freshman does well, it only makes it better that he’s my brother,” said Senior Captain Mike Ballo, Jr. “He’s done nothing but help the team, he’s helped us in big ways. Anytime a freshman does this well, it takes the pressure off of the upperclassmen.”
With the younger Ballo’s early success, it’s nothing but good news for the older Ballo to see his brother perform at such a high level this early in his career. “I always want to see him do well,” said Mike Ballo, Jr. “Even if I wasn’t playing golf here at St. John’s, I’d still want him to do well. I’ve done my best to help him, and it’s a huge plus that I’m his senior captain. So it’s a win-win.”
Mike Ballo, Jr. also had a successful weekend, as he shot a 76-70-72-218 (+5) which was good enough for a top 10 finish, and was tied for eighth. “I played well, I had two good rounds, but I’m looking to perform better,” said Ballo. “I can’t be too disappointed with a top 10 finish.”
The St. John’s Men’s Golf team returns to action on Saturday Oct. 10, as they travel to the Philadelphia Cricket Club to compete in the “Big Five Classic.” The tournament will take place over Saturday and Sunday.