Men’s golf secures final spot in spring Div. III NCAA qualifier

Men’s golf competed last weekend in the NESCAC Fall Qualifiers hosted by Bowdoin at Brunswick Golf Course. This final tournament of the fall season for the team acts as a qualifier for the spring season, as the top four teams from this tournament will move on to the spring Div. III NCAA qualifier, hosted by the winning team. At the end of Day Two, the men took home fourth place while Middlebury captured first. Trinity and Amherst also secured a spot in the spring NCAA qualifier, taking second and third, respectively.

“Many teams in the NESCAC showcased their talents this past weekend, with Middlebury and Trinity posting very good numbers both days, and Amherst making a late charge to secure the third-place position,” co-captain Cody Semmelrock ’14 said. “It left us fighting for the fourth spot in the closing holes.”

On Day One, good conditions opened the course up for some low scores, but the men could not keep up with Middlebury, which had two players shoot below par on its way to a combined 298, eight shots ahead of second-place Trinity and nine shots ahead of Williams, which was then in third place. Co-captain Matt McCarron ’14 led the way for the Ephs, firing two over for a score of 74. Co-captain Dylan Dethier ’14, who turned in a solid 76 and the ever-steady Jake Goldenring ’15, who penciled in a 77, followed closely after McCarron. Grant Raffel ’17 and Semmelrock rounded out the scores for the Ephs with matching 80s. The men ended Day One with a team score of 307.

Needing a heroic effort on Sunday to overcome the large gap between itself and Middlebury, the team was unable to come away with the victory, but did place inside of the top four teams. Semmelrock played well on Sunday, shooting a 75 and bringing his two-day total to 155. This score tied Dethier, who managed a 79 on Day Two, tying the pair of Ephs for 12th overall in the individual standings. Goldenring and Raffel finished out the scores for the team with tournament totals of 157 and 161, respectively, as the Ephs had to settle for a disappointing Sunday total of 315. Amherst came from behind on Sunday with an impressive Day Two score of 302 to slip ahead of Williams and into third place.

“This weekend certainly served as a bit of a wake up call for our squad,” Semmelrock said. “We did not play to our potential, but we did keep our hopes of playing for a bid to the [Div. III NCAA] National Tournament alive … Keeping this in mind, we are going to take this past weekend’s results to heart and defend our title from last spring.”

The team will now have a long layover until the spring season, where the men will look to return to form by qualifying for the Div. III NCAA championships a second straight year.

“I think everyone on the squad is walking away from this past weekend with a good understanding of what needs to be worked on and what positives we can take away from the weekend,” Semmelrock said.