Men’s golf hopes to build on fall success

Men’s golf will need to find consistency this spring if it hopes to earn a trip to Hershey, Pa., for the NCAA tournament in May. The Ephs found some success in the fall, winning the Williams Invitational for the first time since 2001 and the NESCAC Qualifier in October for the first time since its inception in 2007. The victory at the qualifier gives the Ephs the ability to host the NESCAC tournament at the Taconic course.

“Our team recognizes and relishes the challenges that lie ahead,” Bob Camp ’11 said. “We know that we are a very talented and very deep squad, and we proved this a few weekends this fall. That being said, I think we can look to the example of the University of Carolina basketball program to remind ourselves that future triumph is not guaranteed by past success.”

A quartet of experienced juniors will lead the team: Camp, Jack Killea ’11, Jake Wagner ’11 and Drew Murray ’11. These four have all made huge contributions to the squad’s efforts over the past three years and will need to continue to do so this spring. This past fall, Wagner and Camp were named to the All-NESCAC First Team after finishing in the top six in the NESCAC qualifier. Killea was named to the Second Team.

There are plenty of underclassmen fighting for a spot in the lineup as well. Siwol Chang ’12, Chris Valle ’12, Wyatt Sparks ’13, Jack Ervasti ’13 and Ryan Brand ’13 all had the opportunity to play in at least one tournament each in the fall and will continue to seek to gain valuable experience in the pressure-packed spring season.

The Ephs are extremely eager to get back out on the revamped Taconic Golf Course. The course was essentially closed for most of the fall season because of damage to many of the greens, but should be fully healthy and incredibly difficult now that the extensive renovation project – started two years ago – is finally complete.

The men are very excited about their upcoming spring schedule, regardless of its relatively short length. They will host a spring invitational on April 17-18 as well as the four-team NESCAC Championship the following weekend. On April 28, the men will travel to Amherst to attempt to claim their 13th consecutive Little Three title: The Ephs have been Little Three champions since winning the title in 1993.

“This spring is an important one for the future of our program,” Head Coach Rick Pohle said when asked about the team’s attitude towards this year. “I think a number of players have rededicated themselves to establishing our prominence in NESCAC and college golf. The main thing we have to remember is that one or two people cannot carry the load – we need five or six players to play well and support each other on the golf course.”

The men will first travel to Port St. Lucie, Fla., over spring break to dust the cobwebs off their games in preparation for the regular season before heading back up north for the Massachusetts Intercollegiate Tournament on April 7.