The golf course at the Hanover Country Club in Hanover, N.H., underwent renovations two years ago to increase its difficulty. But the architects did not make it hard enough. For the second time in as many years, the men’s golf team won the Dartmouth Invitational, besting the rest of the field by a whopping 11 strokes this weekend.
“[The golf course] is a lot tougher now,” Steven Gary ’04 said. “The greens were pretty tricky — they were firm and very undulating. Because of that, we were all being a little more careful around the greens.”
The Bulldogs took charge from the beginning, taking a 12-stroke lead over the 19-team field after shooting a 289 on Saturday. The next-best finish on the first day of the tournament was Central Connecticut State University, which posted a 301.
After the first 18 holes of the weekend, Yale golfer Gabe Borrud ’06 shared the individual lead with Mike Moreland from Central Connecticut and Keith Hendrickson of Binghamton after paring the course at 71. Fellow Bulldogs Brian Kim ’05 and Rick Reissman ’06 were both one stroke off Borrud’s lead.
“Not every one of us was necessarily playing our best [on the first day], but we were able to eventually fight through some of the problems we were having,” Kim said.
In the individual scoring competition, Borrud shot a one-over-par 72 on Sunday to clinch a share of the lead along with Hendrickson. The two golfers were supposed to faceoff in a two-hole playoff, but darkness prohibited further competition. Both players then were awarded the prize.
“I hit the ball really well,” Borrud said. “I drove the ball well. I hit some good approach shots, and I putted the ball like a blacksmith.”
The Elis had no problem holding onto their comfortable cushion on Sunday; a 296 was more than enough to hand Yale the tournament with a 585 total. The closest opponents were Hartford and Army with a 596 each for the weekend. Dartmouth, which was tied for third on Saturday night, completed the tournament 18-strokes back.
“[Dartmouth] played pretty well the first day,” Gray said. “But they fell back a little bit on Sunday. They’re pretty solid from one to three, but they were having some problems putting together a consistent 4 and 5.”
The team score combines the top four players from each college.
This season is the second year Yale has played and won the Dartmouth Invitational. Prior to last year, the tournament had been on a hiatus while the course at the Hanover Country Club was being renovated. Last year, Yale’s 578 at the Dartmouth Invitational won the tournament.
For Yale, the lopsided win was an excellent way to start the season.
“[The win this weekend] sends a message to the rest of the field that we are still as good as we were at the end of last year,” Gray said. “We want to win the Ivy championship again this year, and this is a good step in the right direction.”
Next weekend, the Elis travel to Newport, R.I., for the Adams Cup before hosting the MacDonald Cup Oct. 10 to 12 at the Yale Golf Course.