Taylor Morong was the MVC player of the year and finished second in the Class C individual state tournament, and Adam Hachey finished 14th. They also helped lead the Ramblers to the Class C state team title.

Morong is now at Franklin Pierce University in Rindge, N.H., and Hachey is at St. Joseph’s College in Standish. Both are still playing competitively.

Given the losses, Winthrop coach Lonney Steeves thought it might be a transitional year for the Ramblers.

“This will be a rebuilding season with a unique team of having a lot of players who were around a great team last year, so they know what it takes to be successful,” Steeves said back in August. 

With the graduation of the No. 1 and 2 scoring averages in the MVC, this year’s mentality shifted to, “just go out there and do your best, and the rest will fall in its place.”

It didn’t take long for new leaders to emerge. Last year’s No. 3 player, Anthony Owens moved up to be the top golfer on the team, while Zach Robertson moved up to No. 2 slot. He played mostly out of the fifth slot last season.

Steeves knew Owens learned plenty from the golfers who graduated.

“These guys have done a great job,” Steeves said. “I mean, Anthony has really come in and has taken over the leadership role, and he has played outstanding golf all season. He has high expectations, and Zach, I think struggled a little bit more to adjust from No. 5 to No. 2. Anthony went three to one and he was used to playing some good golfers. Zach didn’t play a lot of guys that were going to be very consistent.”

Owens has won all of his individual matches this season. His scores have been 43 or lower in each match. Robertson has only won two matches so far, but has lost nailbitters to Logan Smith of Madison and Justin Keaney of St. Dom’s.

Owens is friends with Morong and Hachey, and learned what it takes to be successful as an individual golfer while also helping the team. As the lone senior, it has been a seamless transition for Owens. The biggest thing he’s learned? Actions speak louder than words.

“Just keep the team in the right mindset to win,” Anthony Owens said. “Don’t go out thinking you are going to lose. Don’t go out thinking you are going to shoot a good number. Go out and shoot a low number and keep everything positive.”

Robertson and Owens feed off each other during the rounds.

“If he hits a bad shot, I give him advice,” Robertson said. “If I hit a bad shot, he gives me advice. We give a fist bump after every shot. We are close.”

Robertson is in the same position Owens was in last season.

I think Zach is the leader in training this year,” Steeves said of the junior. “The nice thing with Zach is, you’ve got Brogan (Plossay) and Charlie (de Haas) who are in his class, too. In another year, those three guys will step up. So this year is kind of a transition from last year’s team and the future of the program.”

Unlike in other sports, where a team can rely on one or two players to carry the team to a very good season, golf requires each player to carry their fair share of the workload. Owens and Robinson have noticed the younger guys stepping up.

“I am very proud of the guys who were playing exhibition (matches) last year, are stepping up and providing low numbers in the three and four slot,” Owens said.

“I would say our three, four guy, like Brogan, he has really stepped up,” Robertson said. “He has been great all season, he has some great rounds. He has helped us a lot.”

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