Men’s golf travelled to Cranston, R.I. last weekend to participate in the Spring Invitational, hosted by Johnson and Wales University. The men competed in two days of competition at the Cranston Country Club. In a field of 21 teams, Williams competed against several other NESCAC opponents, including Tufts and Middlebury. Taylor Nordan of Tufts University finished first individually, followed by Kevin Wheeler of Nichols College and Cameron Daley of Salem State Unviersity. Overall, Tufts emerged from the weekend in first place. The Ephs finished in second place overall after tallying a team score of 614.
After the first day at Cranston Country Club, an 18-hole public course featuring several long greens with beautiful ponds interspersed tamongst the 18 holes, Williams sat in fourth place. Tufts held the overnight lead after firing a superb team score of 300. Middlebury was close behind after finishing the first round at 305. Salem State ended the day seven strokes behind Tufts and in sole possession of third place.
Senior co-captain Jake Goldenring ’15 anchored the Ephs on Day One with a stellar one-over par round of 72. Ross Hoffman ’17, who carded 75, continued his remarkable spring season with yet another strong showing.
Senior co-captain Nate McCue ’15 added a 79 to the Ephs’ team total, and junior Tong Liu ’16 provided the final score with an 82.
On Day Two, the Ephs had a second-round charge that was enough to pass Middlebury and Salem State. Unfortunately, however, the Ephs could not overcome the stellar weekend performance by Tufts. The Jumbos emerged victorious with a four-shot cushion.
Goldenring ultimately continued his strong senior season with a top-five finish in the Rhode Island golf tournament.
While Goldenring led Williams for the weekend, Grant Raffel ’17 contributed the lowest final-round score, posting a superb 74 after a disappointing first round 83. McCue improved nicely with a 76. Hoffman rounded out the Ephs’ second day total with a similarly imprresive 78.
Williams already has its mind set on the upcoming weekend, during which the team will play in the NESCAC NCAA Qualifier. The winner will receive an automatic invitation to compete in the NCAA Div. III National Championship in May.
“First of all, we did not get our third with in a row, which is disappointing,” Goldenring commented on the weekend. “The first round provided ideal scoring conditions and we didn’t take advantage of that well enough. Although we had the low round on Sunday, it was not enough to overcome the hole we had dug for ourselves. That said, I think there is a silver lining to us not winning. Had we won, we would have gone into NESCACs looking to win four in a row.”
“Now before you think I’m crazy for categorizing a loss as a good thing, let me explain,” Goldenring added. Carrying three wins in a row into NESCACs adds pressure to an already pressure filled weekend and takes away from the goal at hand, which is qualifying for the NCAA Championship. I also think that feeling the sting of the loss can motivate us to do better. We now have a very concrete set of things that we need to work on, and I don’t think that necessarily would have come about had we won this weekend. It channels our thinking into specifics which are much more manageable than thinking about a broad goal. We will be ready for this weekend, and although I feel like I say this every week, we can’t wait to get on-course on Saturday.”
Weather permitting, the event will take place at Middlebury’s home course, the Ralph Myhre Golf Course, this upcoming Saturday and Sunday.