Men’s golf opened the 2011-12 season with a third-place finish at the Bowdoin Invitational at Brunswick Golf Club this weekend. The men struggled to rounds of 321 and 320 on Saturday and Sunday, respectively, to finish 25 shots behind the victors from Husson. Sophomores Dylan Dethier ’14 and Ross Bowen ’14 paced the team, notching fourth-place and eighth-place finishes, respectively.
The men hope to earn success this fall by combining experience with young talent, and this week was a positive step toward building a cohesive team. “It was definitely not the result we were looking for, but hopefully we can use it as a building block for the rest of the year,” Bowen said. “Each of us played a lot of good holes but was unable to put together a solid full round. The limited preparation we had leading up to the event definitely hurt us, but we cannot use it as an excuse. Hopefully we will have a good week of practice and come out strong at Middlebury this weekend.”
The Ephs stepped on to the tee Sunday afternoon a full 16 shots behind the Braves and in desperate need of some stellar play to make a dramatic comeback. Unfortunately for the men, there were a few too many tough breaks and loose swings to put up the numbers they needed. Dethier led the way with a 77, finishing with a two-day total of 155. Bowen followed close behind with a 78 for a 157 two-day total. Sophomores Jake Abrahams ’14 and Cody Semmelrock ’14 rounded out the scoring with rounds of 81 and 84, respectively, for two-day totals of 163 and 166, respectively. Wyatt Sparks ’13 struggled to an 88 (174 two-day total) but provided valuable leadership to the underclassmen.
“We still have some issues to iron out,” co-captain Jack Ervasti ’13 said, “but we hope to draw on the efforts Dylan and Ross put forth this weekend. We sent a young team to Bowdoin this weekend, and I think they gained some valuable tournament experience in spite of the fact that the course was closed all last week.
“We are a very deep team with lots of people looking to wedge their way into the lineup,” Ervasti commented. “This competition for spots should allow us to scratch a few scores off our total and pull into contention in the next few weeks.”
Although the Ephs are fairly young this year and lost four invaluable players to graduation, there is certainly no lack of talent. Co-captain Chris Valle ’12 and Siwol Chang ’12 will provide leadership both on and off the course and look to build on past successes. Ervasti and Sparks are joined by classmates Alex Xu ’13, Ryan Brand ’13 and Hrishi Srinagesh ’13, who will all be working hard to crack the lineup. As evidenced by this weekend’s play, the team will also rely on the contributions of the sophomore class, which also includes the talented Matt McCarron ’14. Rounding out the team are three skilled rookies: Jon Dely ’15, Nate McCue ’15 and Jake Goldenring ’15. All three are capable of contributing to the team’s efforts, provided they can navigate the challenges of transitioning to collegiate golf.
Up next for the men is the Duke Nelson Invitational hosted by Middlebury on Saturday and Sunday. This will be the first weekend that the young squad faces many of its conference foes, and the men will look to rise to the top of the field.