Men’s golf takes second, qualifies for NESCAC Championship

Men’s golf earned second place at the NESCAC Fall Qualifier last weekend in Hartford, Conn.

Trinity successfully defended its home course on its way to victory in the tournament. The results from the 6513-yard par-72 Indian Hill Country Club mean that an abbreviated field of NESCAC teams will be making the trip back to Connecticut for the NESCAC Championship in late April. The four-team field will be rounded out by Tufts and Amherst, with Middlebury and Hamilton falling just short.

The men posted a team score of 304 on the first day. It was their highest stroke total of the season but still solid given that they played under the worst conditions they had faced so far. Trinity seemed unaffected by the cold and windy weather and shot a 299, resulting in a firm hold on first place.

Tufts had three players score in the 70s to put its team in a great position heading into the final round at 314. The Jumbos have not qualified for the spring tournament in several years, but they played well throughout the fall season. The next three teams were separated by three shots: Hamilton at 321, Amherst at 322 and Middlebury at 324.

Three Trinity players were within the top five after impressive rounds in the less-than-ideal conditions. Nate Choukas and Cameron Chottiner, who made his first start of the year, both finished with rounds of 74 (T-2). Senior Kole Kelly and junior Taylor Kay-Green kept the score dispersion low for the Bantams by carding rounds of 75 and 76 respectively. Will Rosenfield, Trinity’s No. 1 player and last week’s medalist at the Williams Invitational, struggled a bit during his round and recorded a 77, which was dropped.

Williams was within striking distance heading into Sunday thanks to the effort of Will Kannegieser ’20, who put together an even-par round when the Ephs needed it most. Kannegieser minimized his errors to bogeys at worse, and he rolled in four birdies to make up for those rare mistakes. Kannegieser will tee off tomorrow with a two-shot lead.

Assistant captain Sam Goldenring ’20 and co-captain Grant Raffel ’17.5 shot matching 77s, and Beau David ’21 rounded out the scoring for the men, turning in a round of 78. Co-captain Jake Foehl ’19 came in with 79. Considering the conditions, the Ephs were happy to put up five scores under 80, as they and the Bantams were the only two teams to do so on Saturday.

On Day Two, conditions could not have been more different. They created scoring opportunities, and  two Bantams in particular took advantage. Rosenfield and Kelly fired below-par rounds of 67 and 68, respectively to power Trinity to a team score of five-under 283 for its second round. That score brought the Bantams’ weekend total to 582, a full 20 shots better than the Ephs.

The closest team battle of the weekend was for the remaining two spots in the four-team field behind Trinity and Williams. Tufts punched its ticket behind its No. 1 player, Taylor Nordan, who posted a 71 that included a 60-yard  bomb for eagle on the par-5 ninth hole. Amherst’s Cameron Clark tied Rosenfield for the lowest round of the weekend with a 67 of his own that gave his team a four-shot advantage over Hamilton.

The men did put up the second-best score of the second round at 298, ultimately giving them 15 shots of separation from Tufts. Foehl led the Ephs with a 73, followed closely by Goldenring at 74.

Raffel signed for a 75 in his second round, and the scoring was rounded out by a 76 from Kannegieser.

The Ephs will have plenty of time to draw up a game plan for the spring tournament over the winter and will look to make strides in their strategy and execution in order to contend strongly in April.

The men will travel to Saratoga Springs, N.Y., this weekend to compete at the Saratoga Invitational.