Men’s golf places 3rd at Williams Invitational

Last weekend, men’s golf claimed both third and sixth places at the Williams Invitational held at Taconic Golf Club. All members of the 15-man roster played in the tournament as the men entered a Williams ‘A’ team and a Williams ‘B’ team, while the remaining team members played as individuals. The ‘A’ team led the field of 19 teams after Day One of competition on Saturday, but RPI and Skidmore made charges on Day Two to capture first and second place, respectively, while Williams ‘A’ fell to third. Williams ‘B’ finished in an impressive sixth place, demonstrating the incredible depth of men’s golf.

On the first day of play, the men fired an impressive team score of 297 to sit atop a crowded leaderboard. Leading the ‘A’ team, Grant Raffel ’17 shot an impressive one-under-par 70, that left him tied for the best round of the day. Not far behind, classmate Ross Hoffman ’17 shot an outstanding one-over 72. Rounding out the ‘A’ team’s Day One total, co-captain Jake Goldenring ’15 and co-captain Nate McCue ’15 posted solid scores of 77 and 78, respectively.

The ‘B’ team also played great golf on Day One, firing a 304 to sit in a tie for fourth place, ahead of every single other NESCAC school. Classmates Tony Liu ’16 and Michael Stone ’16 led the way, each firing a superb score of 74. Jack Coyne ’18 added an impressive first collegiate round, shooting a 76 and Greg Stone ’16 rounded out the ‘B’ team’s total with an 80.

On Day Two, Goldenring led the Ephs’ ‘A’ team, battling back after tough triple bogey to shoot a blistering 73. Hoffman, meanwhile, continued his solid play, adding a 75 for the men, while Raffel was close behind, firing a 77. McCue matched his first round score with another solid 78. The ‘A’ team’s steady play, shooting a 303 on Day Two for a two-day total of 600, could not fend off RPI’s remarkable  Day Two score of 294 in which they erased a seven-shot deficit from Day One to win the Williams Invitational by two strokes. Hoffman and Raffel both clinched top-five individual finishes with their matching two-day totals of 147.

The ‘B’ team produced another impressive round on Day Two, posting a team total of 308. Liu once again led the way, firing a 75 that earned him his first individual top-ten of the season. Not far behind, Coyne and Greg Stone shot matching scores of 77, while Michael Stone carded a 79 for a two-day total of 612, good enough for sixth place.

“While we were disappointed in the final outcome, we remain confident in advance of this weekend’s Fall NESCAC Qualifier at Hamilton,” McCue said. “We have many guys that can contribute and after a hard week of practice, we will find the five guys ready to go.” The ‘A’ team beat out every single other NESCAC team, while the ‘B’ team bested all but Middlebury. The Ephs tee off this Saturday and Sunday and must finish in the top four to gain a spot in the Spring NESCAC Championship.