Men’s golf ended its season in style with a first-place finish at the Inaugural NESCAC Match Play Championship. Each player was ranked based on his season’s scoring average and paired with the correspondingly ranked player on the other teams. The golfers played a modified form of Nassau match play: Players earned one point for low score on the front nine, one for low score on the back nine and one for low 18-hole total. The Ephs posted 10 points against Middlebury’s eight and 10.5 points against Trinity’s 7.5 at the Crumpin-Fox Club in Bernardston, Mass. The team’s success this weekend comes on the heels of a ninth-place result at the Hamilton Invitational the weekend prior.
On Day Two, co-captain Bob Camp ’11 posted a 76 while co-captain Jack Killea ’11, Jack Ervasti ’13 and co-captain Jake Wagner ’11 all carded 82s. Jake Abrahams ’14 and co-captain Drew Murray ’11 ended up with scores of 83 and 84, respectively.
The team competed fiercely against Trinity and Middlebury, teams that have put up a good fight against Williams all season. Going into the back nine, the men were trailing Middlebury by two points.
“Both Middlebury and Trinity are very good teams,” Head Coach Rick Pohle said. “We knew the margin of victory for these matches was going to be a whole lot closer that previous ones were.” The Ephs stayed determined, however, and pulled through to end up on top.
On Day One, Wagner shot a 76 while Abrahams and Murray both shot 78s. Ervasti posted a 79, while Camp and Killea carded 85 and 88 respectively. These scores led to Saturday’s win over Amherst and Wesleyan, which propelled Williams into the final trio for Sunday’s match.
The previous weekend at the Hamilton Invitational, the men tied for ninth with St. Lawrence, while Manhattanville claimed first. Hamilton was a chance for the younger players to showcase their talent in tournament rounds on an unfamiliar course. The team shot 323 on Saturday at the Yahnundasis Country Club and fired a 309 at the Skenandoa Club on Sunday for a two-day total of 632. Scoring for the team were Abrahams posting a 153 (77-76), Dylan Dethier ’14 shooting 158 (82-76), Wyatt Sparks ’13 scoring a 160 (82-78), Ross Bowen ’14 posting 161 (82-79) and Wagner finishing with 162 (82-80).
“I was very happy with the performance away from our home turf by a number of our younger players,” Pohle said. “You always have to be looking forward to the future, and I think we have the opportunity to continue the success of our program.”
Winning the NESCAC Match Play Championship, along with first place finishes at the Bowdoin Invitation, the Williams Invitational and a second-place finish at the NESCAC Fall Championship earlier this season, provided for a great fall season and a positive team outlook going into the spring. “We’re all very excited for the spring season,” Murray said. “We accomplished most of the goals we set out for ourselves this fall, and we’ll carry this momentum over into spring break.”
The men plan on working hard this winter to come out strong for the three crucial spring tournaments: the Little Three, the NESCAC Championship and NCAAs.