Men’s golf captures Willy Invite crown

The Ephs successfully defended their home course for the first time since the spring of 2014, compiling a brilliant team score of 297 on Sunday, to finish with a total of 599 at the Williams Fall Invitational.

Trinity, which held a one stroke advantage over Williams to start the day, finished as the team runner-up after a solid total of 303 on day two that left them five shots back overall at 604.

All five competitors for both schools recorded rounds in the 70s on day two. Fellow NESCAC schools Middlebury and Tufts struggled a bit during the second round, but managed to play themselves into a tie for the last spot on the podium with a total score of 619.

The men battled through cold conditions at the beginning of the round on Sunday to post an outstanding team score. As the day progressed, Eph golfers built upon their strong starts from the morning action to consolidate the team lead and hold on for victory over the strong Trinity squad. It was a true team effort for the Ephs, as all the members of the squad turned in strong rounds to bring home the title for the Invitational at the team’s home course. Although the windy conditions were not ideal for golf, no member of the Ephs team shot above 80.

“I am very, very proud of how the team bounced back from last weekend,” Head Coach Josh Hillman said. “We regrouped and designed a new game plan for practice this week and stuck to it.  They put in the time working on the right things and it payed off.  The entire team played well.  As you can see we have some serious depth to our team.  Not one man shot above 80 over the two days.   In those tough conditions that is really golfing your ball.”

Owen Elliot of Tufts took home medalist honors after posting the only under-par score on the weekend on Sunday, a one-under 70 that paired with his first round 73. Phillippe Morin from Middlebury finished in second place overall after establishing a two-stroke lead after day one, finishing with a two-day score of 144 after his second round 73.

Sam Goldenring ’20 from Williams finished in third, posting solid scores during both rounds, a 74 and 72, respectively. Middlebury’s Reid Buzby matched Morin’s day two score to finish in fourth. Williams’ Will Kannegeiser ’20 matched his classmate’s 72 to finish in fifth after his first round score of 76.

The pair of Williams first years were backed up by a trio of Eph upperclassmen, tri-captains Jacob Watt-Morse ’17, Ross Hoffman ’17 and Grant Raffel ’18. Watt-Morse contributed a day two score of 74 while Hoffman and Raffel both took 79 shots to get around the course.

Outside of the A-team, Jack Coyne ’18 shot a 2-under par 33 on the front nine, a score that helped him overcome a few bad holes on the back nine to card a 76. Tyler Tsay ’19 matched his first round score of 79 while Giebien Na ’20 shot 78.

This weekend marked the final tournament of the regular season for Williams as they will shift gears to playoff mode when they attempt to qualify for the NESCAC Spring Championship during next week’s qualifying tournament to be played at Middlebury.

The Ephs will look to carry the momentum of a first-place finish onto a course which they struggled at last weekend during the Duke Nelson Invitational. The men will have to keep their games sharp as they are sure to see stiff competition from the other NESCAC schools trying to secure spots in the spring tournament.

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