Men’s golf snags 2nd at Duke Nelson Invitational

After finishing in sixth on Day One, men’s golf shot a second-round 297 to finish in second place with a final score of 607 at this weekend’s Duke Nelson Invitational at Middlebury. Skidmore took the top spot in the tournament with a two-day total of 588.

The invitational included several of the men’s NESCAC foes, including Middlebury and Amherst. Head Coach Rick Pohle was pleased with how his team measured up. “We played with poise and confidence all weekend,” Pohle said after Sunday’s round. “We proved to ourselves that we can compete with the best teams in the district.”

Both days started with cool weather before yielding to more pleasant conditions as the sun shone and the temperature climbed into the 60s, leaving a rain-softened course that was conducive to scoring. Anthony Dilisio, a sophomore at Skidmore, was the tournament medalist with an even-par 142 (72-70). With Skidmore running away with the victory, the drama was left for second place.

The Ephs rostered four sophomores and a rookie this weekend, none of whom had previous experience at the par-71 Ralph Mhyre Golf Course. Cody Semmelrock ’14, who finished in a tie for seventh overall, was the low man on a relatively green lineup for the men. Semmelrock negotiated the subtleties of the unfamiliar course with the maturity of a golfer on the rise. He followed an excellent opening round of 75 with a second round of 74 on Sunday.

“It was encouraging to see some consistency in my game, consistency that starts with hitting it straight and then carries over into good touch around the greens,” Semmelrock said. “It’s exciting to get some confidence heading forward toward our host tournament.”

Ross Bowen ’14 came out firing on Sunday, balancing five bogies with four birdies for a round of 72, his lowest round in his collegiate career. Dylan Dethier ’14 chipped in with a 75. As the invitational counts the top four scorers in a field of five, the Ephs needed one more score to solidify their charge to second.

Matt McCarron ’14 threw up a solid round of 78, but Jake Goldenring ’15 ended up being the men’s final scorer. Goldenring triple bogied his second-to-last hole but recovered for a crucial par on 18 to finish with a 76. The tally brought the men’s total to 607, which vaulted Williams in front of RPI (608), Springfield (609) and Middlebury (611).

“Moving up four spots when you’re at the top of the field is a very difficult thing to accomplish because these are the teams playing the best in the event,” Pohle said.

While the men’s individual performances did not dominate the scoreboard, all 10 of their rounds were in the 70s, a sign of the consistency that makes them one of the deepest teams in the region. Bowen (79-72) finished in a tie for 14th overall, just ahead of Dethier (77-75) in 17th out of the 118-player field.

The team’s focus now turns to the Williams Invitational on Saturday and Sunday. The men will tee off at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday and at 8 a.m. on Sunday at the Taconic Golf Club.

“We have had a number of very good teams during my tenure at Williams,” Pohle said, “and while it is still too early to predict the outcome, this team has the opportunity to be as good as any of them.”