As in every sport, the Little III rivalry in golf transcends simple competition and arouses unparalleled drama and peak performances. Although the golf team bested Amherst in several tournaments this year, the Lord Jeffs would elevate their play and battle for the title. This long day of golf consisted of two 18-hole matches. In the first, the teams paired off, with four groups of two Williams golfers competing versus two Amherst. The teammates play one ball and alternate shots. This unique style of play adds to the excitement and gives the tournament more of a team feeling. Amherst, with a more experienced team, and a yearning desire to revenge last year’s loss, got off to a strong start in the morning rounds. Williams’ top two groups fell to the Lord Jeffs.
The third, composed of Robert Stanton ’01 and Taylor McKinley ’00, lost an early lead and had to settle for a tie. The only glimmer of hope came in the final group, featuring David Feigenbaum ’01 and David Mihm ’03. After trailing the entire morning this team fought back, tying the match with one hole to go. Mihm drove the ball in the fairway and Feigenbaum followed it up with a nice lay-up shot about 140 yards from the green. With both squads watching from the 18th green, Mihm fired his shot over a large bunker and landed it softly on the green, 10 feet from the pin.
Feigenbaum, knowing this putt would give them the victory, surveyed the green. With pressure mounting he stepped up to the putt and drained it, giving Williams its only victory of the morning and cutting the Amherst lead to one. This victory boosted the Williams spirit, and taught the young Ephs what Little IIIs are all about.
After a long lunch, the teams headed out again, this time to play eight individual matches. The Lord Jeffs got off to an early lead again. When the players hit the back nine, Williams trailed in three matches, stood even in two, and up in three. At this rate, Amherst would escape with the victory. However, characteristic of Williams athletics, the Ephs fought back. Edwin May ’03, the only Williams player to get an early lead, crushed his Amherst opponent on the back nine.
Stanton, one of the more experienced Williams players, defeated his Amherst rival with solid play on the back nine. Stanton is one of the best drivers on the team, and in match play this always proves to be an intimidating asset. Max Montgelas ’03, who has played in the top four all year, won his match with similarly good play. His smart style of playing and machine-like swing kept his Amherst opponent at bay. However, other Lord Jeffs were finding success. Williams’ top two players, Aaron Flink ’03 and Phil Bartow ’02, lost close matches to Amherst, placing the Lord Jeffs two victories away from winning the title. Another Williams loss would raise the tension and drama. However, this was the last Amherst victory of the day.
Strong play by Mihm suppressed the Amherst charge and gave Williams the win. Mihm, who was the only Williams golfer to win both matches, proved crucial to the team’s victory. Winning by a mere point, the Ephs defended their title and proved that they deserve the NCAA bid over Amherst.
Next weekend the team goes to Michigan to compete in the National Championships.