Men’s golf defies poor conditions, takes invitational title in N.Y.

Last weekend, men’s golf came from behind to win the Manhattanville/NYU Spring Invitational. On Saturday, men’s golf finished the first round in a tie for fourth. Even in windy conditions, the Ephs deftly navigated the 6490-yard, par-71 Forest Hills Golf Club.

Anchored by co-captain Jake Goldenring ’15, the Ephs also got strong contributions from Grant Raffel ’17  and co-captain Nate McCue ’15. Each tallied matching scores of 79. Ross Hoffman ’17 and Tong Liu ’16 followed with identical scores of 82, only one of which counted towards the team’s 315 total.

On Sunday, the team took advantage of pristine conditions to win.

Goldenring led the Ephs with yet another 75. His strong weekend earned him a third-place finish individually. Liu matched Goldenring’s score. Raffel and Hoffman also provided impressive and essential contributions.

With this superb team performance, the Ephs, who shot a two-day total of 617, finished the final round in a tie for first place with RPI. In the event of a tie, because only four individual scores count towards the collective team score, each team uses the remaining score as a tiebreaker. However, McCue and RPI’s Craig Bokenfohr posted matching final round scores of 80. As a result, each team had to use the remaining individual score from the first round. It was in this double-tiebreak scenario that Williams snatched the title: Liu’s first round 82 edged out James Jackson’s 84. 

On April 3 and 4, the men competed in the Rhode Island College Spring Invitational, hosted at the par-72 Valley Country Club. Hoffman carded a stellar two-under-par performance to take a one-shot lead over Mike Byron from the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth. 

Goldenring turned in an impressive two-over par round that helped catapult the Ephs into the lead. Raffel and Liu finished with matching scores of 78 to round out a very strong team performance for Williams.

On Day Two in Rhode Island, Williams captured its first victory of the 2014-15. The Ephs put together a second-day team score of 314, for a two-day total of 614. While Day Two’s score did not match the effort of Day One, it was enough to give Williams a win.

Hoffman won the individual medal for the tournament. He followed up his incredible first round with the low score for the final round. Liu contributed another strong performance with a six-over par 78. McCue matched Liu’s efforts with a 78. Raffel capped the Ephs’ efforts with a final round score of 82. Williams made its win look easy despite playing in an extremely challenging environment. 

The team scheduled to play in a tournament next weekend hosted by Johnson and Wales, after poor weather conditions forced Williams to cancel its annual spring invitational. This event will be the penultimate event of the Ephs’ schedule, and it is the last tournament before the NCAA Qualifier.

The team is seriously invested in its success for the remainder of the season. “I am proud of the way our top five five has come together to get wins at two big tournaments,” co-captain Jake Goldenring ’16 said. “The scary thing is that I don’t think we have played anywhere close to our best golf. Having said that, I am really excited to see what the next few weeks bring.”

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