Men’s golf shines at Sunshine Invitational

Men’s golf opened its spring season over break with an impressive victory at the Williams Sunshine Invitational in Port St. Lucie, Fla. On March 25, the men posted a team score of 292 at the Ryder Golf Course for a three-shot victory, coming from behind to defeat Calvin with a two-day point total of 596. Co-captain Jake Wagner ’11 captured his first career victory with a stellar two-day score of 146 after a one-under-par final round of 71.

Head Coach Rick Pohle was especially pleased with Wagner’s play, hoping this win will jumpstart the senior’s season. “He has struggled with his game and injuries over the past couple of seasons, so I am very pleased with Jake’s play this break –  hopefully this will lead him to a great spring,” he said.

Wagner’s performance was supported by solid rounds from his fellow co-captains. Co-captain Jack Killea ’11 shot an even par round of 72 on the final day for a total of 149, while co-captain Drew Murray ’11 shot a 74 on the final day and compiled a two day total of 156. Co-captain Bob Camp ’11 rounded out the senior scoring, shooting 75 on the final day for a total of 161. Jack Ervasti ’13 continued his stellar play from the fall, taking the lead after day one with a 72 and closing with a 75 to finish tied for second with a 147 two-day total. Wyatt Sparks ’13 also improved on his day one score, shooting 78 on day two to earn a composite score of 158 to round out the team scoring.

Showing the depth of the team, the rookie class competed admirably. The four golfers combined for seven rounds in the 70s over the two days. Dylan Dethier ’14 led the way with a 147 total and a tie for second place, matching Wagner’s final-round score of 71. Ross Bowen ’14 shot 78 on both days for a total of 157, Cody Semmelrock ’14 shot a 79 on day two and a 77 on day one for a total of 156 and Jake Abrahams ’14 shot a 78 on day two and an 82 on day one for a total of 160.

“The team came out and showed a lot of great effort over the two days,” Camp said. “Winning our first event after a long winter is great for our confidence heading into the spring, especially with so many of the guys shooting solid rounds in the 70s.”

Pohle echoed this sentiment, showing praise for both the seniors and underclassmen: “Our seniors have set the bar at a high level for all of us and the younger players have risen to the challenge. I am very pleased with the effort and commitment that is being put forth by our players so far this spring.” Pohle also said that the scoring efforts by the team during this spring trip may have been one of the best in his 28 years at the helm of the men’s golf program.

“Going forward, everyone is looking to focus on playing more consistently and managing their way around the course,” Killea said. “As long as we continue to sharpen our games every day, there is reason for excitement about the rest of this spring season.”

The Ephs will next take to the links when they host the Williams Spring Opener at the Taconic Golf Club on April 23-24. The team hopes to build on its positive spring break performance and looks to continue to work hard toward its ultimate goal of winning the NESCAC Championship, which will be hosted by Middlebury later this season.