Golf gets help from all classes

Golf continued its fine play this week with third and sixth place finishes at the Skidmore and Williams Invitational tournaments, respectively. Contributions came from every class as the Ephmen showed their depth and strength throughout the week.

The mid-week, single round tournament at Skidmore proved to be a very successful day for the purple and gold. In their second tournament of the season, the Ephs finished only seven shots back of tournament champion, Skidmore. Co-captain Bryan Harmon ’04 led the way with a 76, tied for fourth overall. The supporting cast included Kevin Kellert ’07, whose 79 was a strong sign of things to come later in the week. Matt Slovitt ’06 dropped the team average with a superb 77, tied for sixth overall. Solid play elsewhere included co-captain Ned Wydysh ’04 with an 80 and Zach McArthur ’05 rounding out the scoring with an 83.

Consistency was the key for this tournament – something rare for a team to develop so early into the season. “I am pleased with the progress that we are making in this early portion of the schedule and the contribution that many players have made in the scoring. . .we had to make some roster changes for today’s event because of illness and class conflicts and didn’t miss a beat,” Head Coach Rick Pohle said. “If we continue on this course, we are going to be competitive in any event that we play in.”

Expectations were high going into the weekend as the golf team brought two groups to the 22-team classic, each squad composed of a mix of players from freshman through senior ranks. Two solid rounds totaling 625 was good enough for only sixth place for the A-squad, a somewhat disappointing result for such fine talent. Nevertheless, much was gained in experience for a group of golfers who had only played a few rounds as a team. Pressure from being at home may have been a factor also, as Pohle said, “We played pretty good golf but by the players’ own assessment, it wasn’t their best effort. Everyone was a bit off their game and we made some simple mistakes. I think that comes from trying a little too hard – especially at home.”

Highlights from the weekend tournament included continued stellar performances from co-captain Harmon and first-years Kellert and Alex Mallory ’07. Harmon and Mallory anchored the team with scores of 75-77 (152) and 76-78 (154), placing them tied for 11th and 14th, respectively. To the surprise of many, the top Williams score of the tournament came from the first year Kellert. His 75-75 (150) placed him a solid fifth overall.

This was the second week in a row that two first-years have led the way, showing potential for the future, and adding to the depth of the current roster. The rookies have made great contributions thus far to Williams golf and should help in their quest of making their ninth straight NCAA bid, something Harmon thinks the golf team can work towards. “The freshmen have definitely proven that they are going to be a value to the team both this year and in the future,” Harmon said. “Anyone who is playing strong is going to help our shot at NCAA’s, the freshmen are no exception.”

The weekend tournament was a great learning experience for players and coach alike, but the attitude on campus is that the Ephs know they can out-perform any team in New England. “The competition was stiff,” Harmon said. “There were a handful of teams that could have won the tournament, and we were definitely one of them. We played alright and beat 16 teams. If we played well, we could have beaten the other five.”

Things continue to be positive around the team, even if the desired outcome was not accomplished this week. The positive mood is because the Ephmen know that they have the experience and talent to take this team to the next level.

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