Men’s golf takes Tour de Golf

Hosting last weekend’s Williams Invitation, men’s golf suffered a curious fate: the B-team scored better than the A-team, placing sixth to the latter’s ninth-place finish. The men fared better on Friday with a landslide victory over Middlebury and Babson in the Tour de Golf final, claiming an 18.5 point margin of victory by the end of the day.

Encouraged by their strong Tour de Golf finish, the Ephs entered an A-team and a B-team, as well as a number of individuals, in the Williams Invitational on Saturday and Sunday. After an exciting first day, the B-team found themselves in a three-way tie for third place. The B-team, composed of co-captain Matt Felser ’09 (72, 74), Chris Valle ’12 (75, 78), Bob Camp ’11 (76, 81), David Ramsay ’09 (82, 76) and Galen Jackson ’09 (76, 82), posted a 608 two-day team total, outscoring the A-team by three strokes. Felser’s striking two-day total of 146 (72, 74) earned him a second-place individual finish.

“Placing two teams in the top-10 of the Invitational shows that we are an incredibly deep team,” Camp said. “However, the fact still remains that we are struggling to find our five-man unit that will actually win tournaments for this program. We have to prove to ourselves and our opponents that we are the best team in this conference.”

The Williams A-team, including Jack Killea ’11 (74, 78), Jake Wagner ’11 (80, 73), Tyler Zara ’09 (76-77), Drew Murray ’11 (81, 75) and Siwol Chang ’12 (78, 81), secured a ninth place finish with a 611 team total, 15 strokes behind Skidmore’s tournament-winning 596. Individuals Rahul Bahl ’09 (78, 73), Chris Chiang ’09 (77, 82), and Logan Gerrity ’09 (84, 81) posted impressive numbers as well, demonstrating the team’s impressive depth.

“Unfortunately, we couldn’t package the best five scores,” Head Coach Rick Pohle said. “Otherwise, we would have won the tournament. There were some great individual performances and for that I am very pleased as their coach. Now we need to get the five selected players to be firing on all cylinders for the rest of the season.”

On Friday, Williams started the day with a two-point lead – which carried over from last weekend’s Tour de Golf Stage One – and ended the day with a substantial 18.5 point lead over Middlebury and 31 point lead over Babson. Though certainly a team effort, strong performances by Ramsay (5.5 points), Felser (5 points), Zara (4.5 points) and Murray (5 points) secured the Ephs their considerable margin of victory. Valle topped the charts, winning all six matches in his Williams debut.

Having seen strong performances by much of the Eph team, Pohle now faces the challenge of deciding which players will best represent the team at the NESCAC tournament, to be held this weekend at Middlebury beginning on Saturday.