Fresh off its spring break trip to Florida, men’s golf is poised for continued success this spring and ultimately a trip to the NCAA championship. Eight members of the squad were selected to spend eight days playing and practicing at the PGA Village at Port St. Lucie. The annual trip to Florida is designed to get the team in a competitive frame of mind and to work out kinks from the five-month layoff period in the winter.
“I think we accomplished quite a bit toward establishing our games for the upcoming spring,” Head Coach Rick Pohle said. “Several of the players that carried us this past fall continued to lead the way in scoring and solid performances. Once the weather breaks around here, we hope to begin the progression toward attaining the goals of our spring season.”
The Ephs will not be able to begin practicing at Taconic Golf Club until later this month because the traditional opening date of April 15th is likely to be delayed due to recent inclement weather.
The men played in one tournament while in Florida, capturing the Indian Hills Classic. Strong play from the entire eight-man squad guaranteed the victory over competitors Hamilton and Wesleyan. Rookies Drew Murray ’11 and Jacob Wagner ’11 led the Ephs, both posting scores of even-par 72. Benign conditions allowed for low scores to be posted by all three teams, which was a change welcomed by all.
“The wind was brutal the first few days we were down there,” Matt Felser ’09 said. “Luckily, on the day we played our match the winds finally subsided, and we were able to post some decent numbers out there. Oh, and Bob Camp looks great in shorts.”
Every member of the squad managed to break 80, contributing to the Ephs’ dominance. “I’m pretty excited to come back from abroad and find this much depth on the team,” said Felser. “Last spring our big problem was finding that fourth and fifth guy to consistently contribute and now we have seven guys or more who can reliably be in the lineup and put up some very low numbers.”
This newfound depth will be critical in mounting a charge to win the NESCAC Championship on April 26. Winning the conference title is the sole method of gaining an automatic berth in the NCAA tournament. The Ephs are also looking for an eleventh consecutive Little Three title this spring.
Their first tournament is the Palamountain Invitational, hosted by Skidmore this weekend.