In the final tournament of the season, the men’s golf team finished in third-place in their home tournament last weekend, posting a score of 307 on the second day of competition to finish eight strokes back from Trinity. The tournament featured a field of eight NESCAC teams and was held at the par-71 Taconic Golf Club. During the Fall Williams Invitational, Trinity took home first place and a Trinity freshman earned medalist honors. Trinity repeated this performance in the spring, edging out Middlebury by one shot after Bantam Jack Junge fired a 68 on Sunday. The three-under-par round was good enough for a six shot individual victory over Middlebury freshman Phillipe Morin, who held the overnight lead.
Conditions eased up on Sunday after gusting winds on Saturday added an extra element of difficulty to an already challenging course. While the wind persisted on Sunday to a lesser degree, tee boxes on several holes on the back nine were moved up to make the 6800 yard course play even shorter.
Trinity and Middlebury began the day tied for the lead after both teams fired a score of 312 on Saturday. Players from both teams battled for every stroke gained on their competitors, and most ended up with nice scores when all was said and done. Junge’s 68 was backed up by 78s from captain Jeff Durkin as well as Joseph Ladd, who finished in solo fourth place with a two-day total of 154. Trinity’s young firepower was on display all weekend. Junge won the event with a score of 145 and Ladd contributed with a top five finish as just two of the five Trinity freshmen that made starts for their team this week.
Middlebury almost matched the talented squad from Trinity, posting a 73 from Fitz Bowen and a 74 from Joe Ko. A 302 team score on Sunday after starting the day tied for the lead would be enough to get the job done on most days, but today was a special day for Junge and Trinity. Rounds in the low 70s are normally heralded to be solid by NESCAC standards, a 68 is a score that deserves a victorious finish.
The Williams College A team finished in third, eight shots back of Trinity’s pace. Several Ephs played solid golf on day two, scoring four players in the 70s for the second straight day. Jacob Watt-Morse ’17 led the Williams effort to chip away at the two shot edge that Middlebury and Trinity held to start the day. His 73 on day two vaulted him thirteen spots up the leaderboard to place him in a tie for 15th on the weekend. Ross Hoffman ’17 shot his second straight sub-80 round, coming in in 77 strokes on day two. The Williams second day score of 307 was rounded out by two veteran players, a 78 from co-captain Max Elgart ’16 and a 79 from Michael Stone ’16.
The Willy Invite historically offers a chance to hold tryouts for the spring NESCAC championships that occur the week after. Unfortunately, due to the men’s failure to qualify in the top four at the fall NESCAC championships, this year’s Williams Invitational marked the end of the careers of six seniors, Elgart, Michael Stone, Greg Stone ’16, co-captain Frank Worthington ’16, Tong Liu ’16 and Andrew Leary ’16. All six were gifted the opportunity to play their last hole of college golf on their home course.
“It was definitely disappointing to finish third in our home tournament, but I’m really proud of all the hard work the team has put in this year,” Worthington said. “We’ve showed a lot of heart throughout the season.”