Regional play came to a sweet ending for the Williams men’s golf team this weekend as they claimed first place in the Division three New England Championships held at New Seabury Country Club. The victory was an especially rewarding one for an Ephs squad that battled through an inconsistent fall season only to perform exceptionally in the Championship.
Williams participated in the event with their top five golfers, collectively tallying a team score of 647. This score was seven strokes better than second place finisher Salem State, a perennial power in New England golf. Competing in the match were teams from all three NCAA divisions as University of Rhode Island took home the overall title. Williams placed fifteenth in the overall standings, a ranking due largely to the weekend efforts of Taylor McKinley ’00 and tri-captain Michael Szkodinski ’99.
McKinley turned in the team’s best performance with a two round total score of 156, a performance good enough to earn All-New England honors. McKinley shared his thoughts on his accomplishment in saying, “I wasn’t that confident going into the tournament because of my poor play there last year, but the shots just fell my way and I was very happy about that.” Coach Pohle commented on McKinley’s clutch performance with, “I’m particularly pleased for Taylor because he had such a rough go of it here last year.”
All-New England captain Szkodinski finished two strokes behind McKinley for a match total of 158 and a meaningful contribution to the Ephs’ convincing victory. Coach Pohle acknowledged Szkodinski’s veteran play in remarking that, “Mike has had a strong fall and his All-New England honors just adds to his previous All-Nescac honors.”
The other three Ephs to compete each had solid rounds of action in aiding to the Williams championship. Tri-captain Devin Redmond ’99 finished with a total of 165, while John T. McCoy ’01 checked in with a 169 and Junior Andrew Arbesman finished with a score of 187.
With the New England Championship under their belt, the Ephs are gearing up for a winter of preparation for a promising spring season on the links. The spring season will surely provide more exciting match play by the Ephs, culminating with the Division three national championship here in Williamstown at the Taconic Golf Club.