Elis hit to mixed results

It wasn’t a stellar performance, but the Yale men’s golf team was able to work out some kinks this weekend with more important competition coming up soon.

The men’s golf team returned to action for the first time since spring break this weekend, competing in the Drew Upton Classic hosted by Towson University on April 1-2. The Bulldogs finished the tournament, played on the Great Hope Golf Course in Crisfield, Md., in 12th place, scoring a two-round total of 591.

“I guess we weren’t exactly pleased because of where we finished,” captain Rick Reissman ’06 said. “But in terms of scores, this was one of the lowest scores we’ve posted in a while. So our feelings were mixed.”

The Elis shot 293 on Saturday, finishing eighth out of a pool of 20 teams at the end of the first day, and then went on to drop four places on Sunday.

“Our performance as a whole was pretty average,” Andrew Denenberg ’08 said. “It displayed our potential but also exposed our weaknesses.”

The Bulldogs were one of five Ivy teams competing in the tournament — the others were Brown, Columbia, Cornell and Princeton. Yale finished behind two Ancient Eight teams, eighth-place Columbia and ninth-place Princeton.

The team had played on the same course last year in a tournament affected by bad weather, so several players said they felt familiar with the course.

“[Denenberg, Matza] and I had played the course last year,” Reissman said. “We knew that we could throw up some good scores and we felt like we had a good chance going in.”

Denenberg is playing in the fifth varsity spot, which a couple of other players are also vying for.

“I want to earn a spot back in the rotation, as do a bunch of the other guys in my position.” Denenberg said. “Our top four is pretty set, we just have to find a fifth guy who can show consistency in his play. We all want to contribute but at the same time we have to accept what’s best for the team.”

The team consisted of Reissman, Mark Matza ’07, Denenberg, Taylor Hakes ’09 and Colby Moore ’09. Considering that [Hakes] and [Moore] had not played on the course before, Reissman said, they performed well.

“The freshmen felt that they could’ve done a lot better,” he said. “But its not there job to carry the team yet. They’re doing a great job.”

Reissman was the Elis’ top scorer for the tournament, coming in 13th place overall with scores of 72 on each day. Matza was tied with nine other golfers for eighth place with a score of 71 on the first day but dropped to 34th place with a score of 76 on the second day.

Reissman said there were problems with his and Matza’s performances, but that the pair played well and looks to improve in the future.

“Mark was a bit unhappy with the second day,” Reissman said. “He just couldn’t keep it going. The fact that Mark and I are both playing well is encouraging and we can build off that. I played well, but left a lot of shots out there. I’m still not playing my best. Hopefully I can improve at [Yale] next week.”

The team will host the Yale Spring Opener April 7-9 on a course ranked in the top 100 in the country. Players feel they are lacking in the putting and chipping departments and are working toward improving those areas for the upcoming weekend.

“Our short game was our downfall,” Moore said. “I think we’re working on that and our long games are solid. We’re trying to get enough practice around the green this week, and we’re really motivated to win our home tournament.”

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