The Williams College men’s golf team place second ysterday in the two day 1998 Duke Nelson Tournament on Ralph Myhre Golf Course at Middlebury College. Taking first place with a team total of 603 was Skidmore College. The Ephs had a team total of 628, while Salem State placed third with a team total of 634.
“It was a nice start to the season,” said head coach Rick Pohle in response to the tournament, “we had great contributions from juniors Andy Arbesman and Craig Branca.” Williams plays next in the Skidmore Invitational Tournament this Wednesday.
Sophomore John McCoy and junior Craig Branca tied for sixth place individually in the tournament with a two day total of 155. Senior Devon Redmond placed twelfth
with 157. Junior Andrew Arbesman placed twenty-third with 161, and Senior Mike Szkodzinski placed 48th with 169.
The only loss from last year’s team, which finished fourteenth in the nation after a well played national tournament, was graduating senior Evan Kurtz. Besides the departure of Kurtz, the team remains relatively intact and has one more year of maturity in the returning golfers.
The returning team consists of a strong nucleus of players that have already proven to be competitive at the regional and national level. Of the seven returners, Devin Redmond ’99, Mike Szkodinski ’99, and John McCoy ’01 have already received all-New England honors.
Tony McCutcheon ’99, who will sit out the fall campaign to undergo back surgery will be back for spring and Williams’ run at the national tournament. Captains Redmond, Szkodinski, and McCutcheon provide a wealth of experience and leadership for the club to put together an impressive run at surpassing last year’s achievements.
Coach Pohle reflected on his team, “we will get strong leadership from our captains and we have a lot of experienced players back.” Pohle also aluded to Williams’ continued improvement at the regional level by stating, “we have established ourselves recently as one of the top two teams in New England along with Skidmore and we are looking to build on that.”
Juniors Andrew Arbesman, Taylor McKinley, and David Aisner round out the corps of returning golfers along with sophomore standout McCoy. The positive addition of first-year golfers J.T. Ervin (Cape Elizabeth, ME) and John Addorio (Greenland, NH) will add to an already competitive mix for the top seven Eph golfers.
With hopes of hosting the 1999 NCAA national championship at the Taconic in the spring, Williams embarks on what will prove to be a thrilling season of match play. The season continues Wednesday with a trip to the Skidmore Invitational and later with the local Williams Invite September 26-27.