Men’s golf secured a fourth place finish at this weekend’s NESCAC Qualifier, held at Middlebury’s Ralph Myhre Golf Club. After posting a team score of 304 on the first day, the Ephs had a comfortable six-shot lead over Wesleyan, who carded a 310 for fifth place after the first day. With impressive second-day performances, the team held onto their fourth place spot.
Jack Killea ’11 led the team with a two-day total of 150 (71-79), earning a fifth place individual finish. Co-Captains Tyler Zara ’09 (78, 75) and Matt Felser ’09 (79, 85), as well as Jake Wagner ’11 (76, 78) and Drew Murray ’11 (83, 75) rounded out the Eph squad.
The Ephs’ two-day team total of 611 placed them 18 strokes behind Middlebury’s winning 593. Trinity and Hamilton took second and third place, posting 594 and 606, respectively.
Bowdoin outscored Wellesley by seven strokes, settling into its fifth place finish with a 616. Thanks to their top-four finish, the Ephs look forward to facing off against the Cardinals, Bantams and Continentals in the NESCAC Championship this spring, to be held at Middlebury’s home course. Middlebury secured this advantage by virtue of its strong play this weekend.
A first-place finish in the April 25-26 NESCAC Tournament would earn the Ephs the opportunity to advance to Port St. Lucie, Florida, in early May for the NCAA Championship.
“As a team, we feel that this past weekend was a bitter success,” Killea said. “While we accomplished our goal of qualifying and keeping our NCAA hopes alive, our performance was a continuation of this fall’s inconsistency. We have all of the talent we need to compete and win in this conference, but we can’t just sit around and wait for it to click. It’s going to take hard work.”
Last fall, the team faced similar odds after finishing fourth at the 2007 NESCAC Qualifier. Come spring, they will tee off against the same four teams and hope to bring home a repeat NESCAC victory. “We’re in the same spot as we were last year, so we know that we can go out and win it all when the time comes,” Murray said. “What’s great about our squad is that whenever someone is struggling there’s always someone who steps up and picks up the lack on any given day. If we can get ourselves firing on all cylinders we’re the most terrifying team in the NESCAC.”
Meanwhile, the Ephs will compete this weekend in the three-day Hamilton Invitational, beginning on Friday.