Men’s golf jumps from 6th to 3rd at Skidmore

Men’s golf opened its spring season last weekend at Skidmore’s Palomountain Invitational. On Monday, the men posted a team score of 315 at the tricky McGregor Golf Links to finish in a tie for third after opening the tournament on Sunday with a 313 total that placed them in sixth after day one on the incredibly difficult Saratoga National Golf Course.

“The team put forth a solid effort, though we were a bit rusty, having not played much since the conclusion of spring break,” Bob Camp ’11 said. “Third place is a good finish considering each individual would probably say that there is still plenty of room for improvement.”

The Ephs took to the links amidst brisk yet sunny conditions at 9 a.m. Monday morning. They stood only two shots out of second place and were eager to claw their way up the leader board. Camp had the most success navigating the tight fairways and sneaky greens of McGregor, posting a 74 to record a solid two-day total of 154 and finish in 12th place individually. First-year Jack Ervasti ’13 followed just behind, putting up a 79 for the day to finish with a two-day total of 156, which was good enough to place among the top 15 individuals. Ervasti played very consistently over the two days: He was the only Eph to score in the 70s for both rounds. Experienced competitors Jack Killea ’11 and Jake Wagner ’11 rounded out the team score, shooting 80 and 82 on the day, respectively.

On Sunday, the men struggled to acclimate to the aerated greens of Saratoga National. “Many players felt that they struggled to save strokes with the greens being sliced and sanded,” Head Coach Rick Pohle said. “It was incredibly difficult to keep the ball on line and get a handle on the speed of the greens, but the guys put forth a pretty good effort.” Despite the condition of the greens, first-year Wyatt Sparks ’13 cruised around the course to an impressive round of 76.

“Going forward, everyone is looking to focus on playing more consistently within each round as well as over an entire weekend,” Killea said. “As long as we continue to sharpen our games every day, there is reason for excitement about the remainder of this spring season.”

The Ephs will host five other NESCAC schools this upcoming weekend at Taconic for the Williams Spring Opener. The tournament will offer something of a preview of the rapidly approaching NESCAC Championship, which will be played at Taconic April 24-25. At the championship, Williams, Middlebury, Trinity and Hamilton will compete for the lone NESCAC bid to the NCAA Championship. The men are looking to capture their third title at home this year.

The men’s short spring season will wrap up within just a few more tournaments: Next weekend’s spring opener is the last competition before championship season begins. Williams will head to the Little Three Championship on April 28, just a few days after wrapping up the NESCAC Championship Tournament at Taconic.