Men’s golf tops home invite

Grant Raffel ’17 posted a152 at the Williams Invitational, helping the Ephs’ Purple team to first place.  -Emory Strawn/Contributing Photographer
Grant Raffel ’17 posted a152 at the Williams Invitational, helping the Ephs’ Purple team to first place. -Emory Strawn/Contributing Photographer

Men’s golf teed off last weekend at the Taconic Golf Course. The Ephs sent out two teams. the Gold team consisted of Jake Goldenring ’15, Grant Raffel ’17 and co-captains Cody Semmelrock ’14, Matt McCarron ’14 and Dylan Dethier ’14. The Purple team was composed of co-captain Jake Abrahams ’14, Max Elgart ’16, Nate McCue ’15 and Tong Liu ’16. The Gold team took home first place after two days with a score of 607.

The Gold team started off strong with the only sub-300 round on the first day. Goldenring led the way with a smooth two-over-par score of 73, closely followed by Raffel, who capitalized early on with his flatstick en route to a 74. Semmelrock and McCarron rounded out the scores with matching 75s for a team total of 297. The Purple team also put in an impressive performance, with a Day-One total of 312, good enough for seventh place. Liu came out strong with a 74, followed by McCue, who put together a solid 76 on the round. Elgart and Abrahams finished out the scores for the Ephs, at 78 and 84 strokes, respectively.

The strong winds continued to bluster as the Ephs headed into Day Two of the tournament, but the clubhouse-leading Gold team held on to its lead throughout. Semmelrock, McCarron and Raffel continued their solid play from the previous day with scores of 76, 77 and 78, respectively, while the normally steady Goldenring encountered a couple of bumps on his way to an 81. For the Purple team, Abrahams tied the low round score of the day with an impressive 72, while Elgart, McCue and Liu all stayed steady on their way to two-day totals of 158.

The Gold team combined to post a two-day total of 607, four points ahead of runner-up RPI, for the men’s first win of the season. The Purple team also finished strong, placing in eighth after totaling 628 on the weekend.

“This weekend gave a lot of the guys the confidence that we need going into the NESCAC fall qualifier on Saturday,” Semmelrock said. “Despite playing good golf, we had not gotten a win yet this season. So being able to win the week before the conference championship always helps our momentum.”

An exciting finish for the individual crown came when Ross Hoffman ’17, who competed as an individual in the event, tied for first place. After shooting a two-day score of 152, Hoffman moved on to a sudden death playoff hole, where he made short work of his opponent, dialing up three shots that set up a clinching tap-in birdie.

“We have a lot of very talented golfers, and not everyone gets to travel week in and week out,” Semmelrock said. “But because we host this tournament, everyone on our roster competes either with the Gold team, Purple team or as individuals. It gives everyone a chance to play in front of their friends and family, while also giving them the chance to showcase their skills in a tournament setting. This year proves exactly why it is so special. We had a freshman, Ross Hoffman, competing as an individual, win the tournament in a sudden death playoff. It was a great weekend.”

The men will look to carry their momentum forward to the NESCAC Fall Qualifier hosted by Bowdoin next weekend at the Brunswick Golf Course.