After an impressive showing on Saturday that put the team in first place, men’s golf struggled on Day Two of Middlebury’s Duke Nelson Invitational to give up the lead and finish in fifth place.
Despite Saturday’s windy conditions, Williams posted strong scores, ending the day with a two stroke lead over its nearest competitor, Salem State. After securing a victory in the previous weekend’s Williams Invitational and ending Day One at Middlebury as the only team with all five players posting scores in the 70s, the Ephs hoped to secure another tournament win.
Unfortunately for the Ephs, the men could not keep their momentum going and dropped to fifth place of 20 teams. Less than ideal weather conditions at the challenging Ralph Myhre Golf Club contributed to the team’s 12 stroke gain from Day One to Day Two. After posting a 307 on Saturday and a 319 on Sunday, the team ended the weekend with a 626, 20 strokes behind tournament leader Salem State.
Though unable to hold onto the lead, the Ephs posted some very impressive scores over the course of the weekend. Chris Valle ’12 led the team with back-to-back 77s. One stroke behind, Jake Wagner ’11 finished the tournament with a two day total of 155, dropping three strokes from Saturday’s 79 to Sunday’s 76. Jack Killea ’11 put up strong numbers as well, finishing the tournament with a 160 after posting a 77 on Saturday and an 83 on Sunday. Jack Ervasti ’13 kicked off his college golf career with a solid showing, posting a 75 on Saturday, the team’s lowest score of the tournament, and an 86 on Sunday. Tied with Ervasti for a two day total of 161, Bob Camp ’11 carded a solid 78 on Day One, followed by an 83 on Day Two.
“Though the team had a rough time dealing with a difficult golf course in rough weather, we feel confident in our games heading into this weekend’s tournament,” Camp said. “We are looking forward to playing near home and competing for the chance to host the spring championship.”
The Ephs hope to regain their momentum as they look to this weekend’s NESCAC Championship Qualifier. Though originally scheduled to be held at Williams’ Taconic Golf Club, the tournament has been moved to Waubeeka Golf Links in South Williamstown owing to difficulties with Taconic’s greens. After a week-long crash course on playing Waubeeka, the team hopes to secure another NESCAC Tournament victory.