After battling rain Saturday and wind Sunday, the Yale men’s golf team finished in third place out of 17 teams at the Big Five Invitational over the weekend.
The Bulldogs shot a combined score of 594 on the par-71 course at the Philadelphia Cricket Club in Flourtown, Pa., edging out all of the Ivy competitors — Penn, Harvard, Cornell and Princeton.
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Yale’s third-place finish marks a spectacular run of tournament play, as the Bulldogs finished second at the Dartmouth Invite on Sept. 27 and first in the MacDonald Cup on Oct. 4.
Yale’s only Ivy loss in tournament play this season was against the Big Green at the Dartmouth Invite, and the Elis’ overall record stands at 33–3.
“I am very pleased with how the season is playing out,” head coach Colin Sheehan ’97 said.
The Bulldogs finished round one Saturday in second place, behind the University of Richmond. But Sunday’s pristine conditions were not enough to foster a comeback to match last weekend’s sixth-to-first place jump in the MacDonald Cup. Instead, the Elis dropped seven shots behind Campbell University, the eventual winner, and three shots behind the University of Richmond.
Yet Captain Ben Wescoe ’10 assured that a third-place finish behind these strong southern competitors is a remarkable feat.
On Saturday, Wescoe shot an on-par 71 despite the tough weather conditions. Sunday he shot a 76 for a combined score of 147 and tied for seventh place in the tournament. Tom McCarthy ’11, last weekend’s first-place finisher, improved his play between two days, after shooting a 75 on Saturday and a 73 on Sunday. McCarthy tied for 11th place this weekend with a combined score of 148. Brad Kushner ’13 tied for 16th place, shooting a 149. Brandon Marick ’11 tied for 27th with a 151. Both Kushner and Marick improved their play on Sunday. Carson Weinand ’13 shot a 154 to tie for 39th place.
“It was very tough scoring conditions,” Wescoe said. “It was a hard course with fast greens and windy, wet weather. No one was playing really well, but we grinded it out and fought hard.”
Hole locations and putting trouble also affected the Elis’ play, McCarthy said.
“They really put some of the hole locations in really tough spots on the green,” McCarthy said. “Between the green and the winds, it was really difficult to make a lot of birdies. Obviously with tough pins it’s pretty tough to make putts. A couple of us struggled with putting. It’s something we need to work on going into this last weekend.”
Despite putting troubles this past weekend, outstanding and consistent play have been the secrets to this season’s success.
“Captain Ben Wescoe and junior Tom McCarthy are each playing some of the best golf of their careers,” Sheehan said. “Junior Brandon Marick has been an incredibly solid number-three man on the team. As much as Tom, Ben, Carson and Brad have played well, Brandon has been the X-factor that has made a lot of the difference this fall.”
Next weekend the Bulldogs take on all seven Ivy competitors at the Ivy Match Play in Mattapoisett, Mass. At the match, teams pair off for competition, and the Elis will face Princeton.
“We are feeling very confident and excited to test ourselves against the Ivy League,” Wescoe said.