Top teams, wind blow away golfers

At this year’s Adam’s Cup, the men’s golf team needed more than just windbreakers to keep from getting blown off the course.

The Cup presented the Bulldogs with a higher level of competition than what they will face for the rest of the year. Hosted by the Newport National Golf Course in Newport, R.I., the tournament boasted an entry list of 16 of the top college golf teams, including some of the premier Division I programs from across the country. Texas A&M won with a team score of 895, followed by the University of North Carolina in second with 900. Yale’s tally of 952 was good for 14th.

In addition to struggling against a higher standard, the Elis also had to cope with the weather — an estimated 30 mile per hour sustained wind that made the difficult course even harder.

“It was so windy out there, it was unbelievable,” said Mark Matza ’07. “Just the course alone is the toughest we’ve ever played, and we had the weather conditions on top of it.”

Each team sends five players to an event, but only the scores of the top four are counted in the team total. Matza led Yale with a 78-79-78 in his three rounds of play to put him in 31st out of the field of 80. Most of his teammates had a higher variance from round to round.

The Bulldogs suffered from a lack of consistency, one of the keys to success in collegiate golf tournaments. After the first round, the Elis were in ninth place overall, but then dropped to 12th after the second round, and finally 14th after the third.

With team scores of 318, 321 and 313, the Bulldog’s meager improvement as the tournament progressed was not enough to hold off the other teams.

“Other teams were getting used to the course and getting better,” Matza said. “We improved our last round, too, but the other teams played better than us.”

Although the result was disappointing for some, the Bulldogs had their moments. In his first outing, Colby Moore ’09 shot a 74, the third-best score of the round. Even though he followed up with a 81-83, he was still the second-best Eli. His classmate, Taylor Hakes, was right behind him with a 80-84-76.

Matza said the two freshmen have already made an impact.

“We have two freshmen … who are clearly two of the top five players on the team,” Matza said.

The Bulldogs hope to continue improving throughout the season and earn a bid to the NCAA regionals with a top-three ranking in the New England district.

“At this point in the season our goal is really to play as well as we can; to try and break through 300 as a team,” Matza said. “Our other goal is to beat teams in our district so we have a good shot at making regionals.”

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