Men’s golf closed out its 2009-10 campaign on a high note as the men captured the program’s 13th consecutive Little Three championship last Wednesday in Amherst at Hickory Ridge Country Club. The competition features a Ryder Cup format in which players team up in the morning for alternate shot matches against pairs from both schools and play individual matches against a single opponent from each school in the afternoon. The Ephs dispatched the Jeffs 7.5 to 4.5 and the Cardinals 11 to 1 for the title.
The Ephs jumped out to a quick start in the morning session despite incredibly brisk conditions. Jake Wagner ’11 and Drew Murray ’11 never trailed in either of their two alternate shot matches and eventually claimed a 7,6 victory over the duo from Wesleyan and a 5,4 victory over their opponents from Amherst. Jack Killea ’11 and Jack Ervasti ’13 followed suit, claiming both their matches 5,4. Bob Camp ’11 and Wyatt Sparks ’13 showed the most grit in the morning session, dispatching the team from Wesleyan 6,4 and battling back against Amherst from 1-down at the turn to take the match 2,1. Siwol Chang ’12 and Alex Xu ’13 suffered the team’s only loss in the morning, falling on the final hole to the pair from Amherst after a hard-fought match. At the end of the morning session, the men held a 3-1 lead over Amherst and a 4-0 lead over Wesleyan. Williams went into the second round of competition breathing a little easier, knowing that the team only needed to nab three and a half points out of a possible eight in the singles session to retain the championship.
Xu set the tone for the rest of the team, teeing off first for the men and going on to defeat his opponent from Wesleyan 8,7 and win his Amherst match 3,2. Chang followed in the seventh spot and amassed substantial leads quickly in both matches: He eventually claimed both by a 2,1 margin. Murray made quick work of his Cardinal opponent by a 7,6 margin and then battled to the end to halve the match with his Jeff counterpart. Ervasti and Killea continued their impressive play from the morning, and both ended each of their matches by the 15th hole. The two Ephs’ decisive points guaranteed the team’s victory.
After the dust settled, the Ephs were able to drive home with their heads held high having carried on a dynasty 13 years in the making and adding to an already highly successful season. Little Threes marks the end of the men’s season after an unsuccessful weekend at NESCACs led the team to miss its opportunity for an NCAA bid. The team will return 12 members next year and will look to add a few incoming first-years to the roster.