Men’s golf finishes in 4th at WNEC Invitational

Men’s golf played two tournaments last week, finishing in a tie for fourth at the Western New England College (WNEC) Invitational and falling to Middlebury at the inaugural Colonial Cup.

The WNEC Invitational was held last Thursday at Veterans Golf Course in Springfield, Mass. The Ephs were led by co-captains Brendan Conley ’08 and Nicholas Nottebohm ’08. Rookie Drew Murray ’11 fired rounds of 79 to tie for 12th individually. The team shot a total score of 320, finishing 13 shots back of winner Husson College.

Head Coach Rick Pohle was not totally pleased with his team’s performance. “We fell victim to large mistakes which led to wasted shots,” Pohle said. “We can’t seem to identify who can play with a great deal of consistency and that can be frustrating as a player and a coach. We have a short time to see who will step up and carry us into the NESCAC championship next weekend.”

The Colonial Cup, a Ryder Cup style competition between Williams and Middlebury, was hosted by the Panthers at the Ralph Myhre Golf Course in Middlebury, Vt. The tournament featured three different match-play formats: nine holes of alternate shot play followed by nine holes of two-man best ball on Saturday and 18 holes of singles matches on Sunday.
The Ephs played strongly the first day, but the loss of six matches by a margin of one stroke led to a disappointing score of 8-2. “Day 1 was obviously a tough day for Williams, but I felt that we played much better than the score indicated,” Nottebohm said. “We lost a lot of close matches on the last hole and had a feeling that if we came out strong Sunday morning we might have had a chance.”

Williams did indeed come out stronger on Sunday, splitting the singles matches 5-5 with Middlebury. The solid play of Nottebohm, Matt Felser ’09 and Jeff Lin ’08 contributed to the team’s charge, but it was not enough to surmount the Saturday deficit as the Ephs lost, 13-7. “Considering we played them on their home course, I thought that we put up a real good fight out there and [we] feel pretty confident about our match play abilities heading into Little Threes,” commented Felser ’09.

The presence of inebriated Middlebury fans on the links was an unwelcome distraction for the Ephs, yet the team managed to maintain their focus. “The lack of drunken hecklers really helped out Bob Camp ’11 on Sunday as he was able to stay focused and motor his way to a 3-2 win while avoiding new nicknames,” said Nottebohm.

Today the Ephs hope to solidify their 11th consecutive Little Three title. Williams will tee off at 8 a.m. at Taconic Golf Course. This weekend Trinity will host the NESCAC championship at Shuttle Meadow Golf Course in Kensington, Conn. A win in Connecticut would ensure the Ephs automatic qualification for the NCAA Div. III championship.