The Hartwick Invitational Tournament this past Sunday and Monday in Oneonta, NY presented the golf team with a formidable challenge in their quest to return to Nationals for a third straight year.
The skies opened up on Sunday and the soggy first round conditions took their toll on both the scoreboard and the players’ patience. Williams shot 327 (count low four of five scores), well over their season average, while Binghamton University emerged from the rain with a tournament low 299.
The horseshoe-shaped par 5 seventeenth hole seemed to be Williams’ undoing. The team averaged a triple bogey 8 on Oneonta Country Club’s signature hole. Monday’s clear skies initially held the promise of lower numbers, but the mercury hovered near 40 degrees and the cold wind sent golfers scrambling for turtlenecks and windshirts.
Icy greens and frozen grips were not enough to deter Williams from bettering Sunday’s showing by three strokes at 324. Their two-day total of 651 placed the team third overall in the twelve-team field. Binghamton, the second ranked team in neighboring District Two, took first place, while second went to Division II LeMoyne College.
The low Eph was Devin Redmond ’99, who took third place overall with a two-day total of 156 (80-76). Captain Evan Kurtz won Monday’s long drive contest with a towering tee shot on the par 5 eleventh, and finished tied for tenth place with fellow Eph Tony McCutcheon ’99. Other Ephs in the field were Mike Szkodzinski ’99 with 169 and Taylor McKinley ’00 who finished at 174.
Earlier in the week, the Ephs traveled to McGregor Links Country Club in Saratoga Springs, NY, for the Palamountain Invitational. Williams finished second with a team total of 310, nine shots off the pace set by the tournament host, Skidmore College. Redmond fired a one over par 73 to finish second individually, two shots behind Skidmore’s Bryan Martin. Other Williams finishers were Kurtz and Andy Arbesman ’00, each with 78, and Szkodzinski and John McCoy ’01, who each went around the tricky 6603 yard course in 81 strokes.
This Saturday and Sunday, the golfers host the top Division III teams in District One (New England and Eastern New York) at the District Shoot-Out at Taconic Golf Club.
Then on Tuesday, Williams will seek to reclaim the Little Three Championship from the Lord Jeffs at Hickory Ridge Country Club in Amherst. The spring season culminates with the NCAA Championships in Jekyll Island, Georgia, on May 12-15.