The men’s golf team won the Spring Opener on Saturday at the Yale Golf Course by the slimmest margin possible — one stroke.
With home course advantage and perfect conditions, the Elis shot a cumulative 582 after 36 holes, defeating Central Connecticut and claiming their first tournament win of the spring season and third of the year.
Ten other teams competed in the tournament, including Ivy foes Harvard and Dartmouth, who took third and fifth places, respectively.
Carson Weinand ’13 led the Elis and tied for second place overall in the individual rankings. He shot consistently on the par-69 course with a 71 in the first round and a 72 the second round for a cumulative 143.
Weinand said his stand-out performance on Saturday was an indication that he is back on track after having struggled since his breakout performance in the Dartmouth Invite in late September.
“When I play like I know I can, I am one of the best on the team,” Weinand said. “I’m just a freshman starting out, but I feel like I’ll only go up from here.”
Weinand said a few adjustments to his stroke, with the help of head coach Colin Sheehan over spring break, restored the confidence he needed to be successful this past weekend.
Sheehan said both Weinand and Brad Kushner ’13, who tied for 13th place with a score of 148, are dependable players, and that he is still learning just how good the two players are.
Brandon Marick ’11 tied for seventh place with a 146, Tom McCarthy ’11 shot a 149 to tie for 16th place and captain Ben Wescoe ’10 tied for 30th, shooting a 153.
Sheehan said the results of the tournament are a testament to the value of teamwork. When Marick had a tough first round of 77 (+5), his teammates picked up the slack before Marick helped the team by shooting a second round of 69 (-3), Sheehan said.
“This is one of the beauties of our format,” he said. “To be honest, his par-69 was the difference maker.”
Sheehan said that, mathematically, the team only won by one-sixth of one-percent, and that every single shot counts.
Kushner added that the team’s depth played an important role in its win. He said that although the team’s two top-ranked players, McCarthy and Wescoe, did not have their best performances, the Elis were still able to pull out a victory in the end.
Kushner said such victories are no easy feat because the greens have subtle breaks, making it feasible to need three putts to finish the hole. Weinand added that the cliffs along the course mean a player can lose his ball at any moment.
Wescoe said the win means the Bulldogs are undefeated on their home course for the season, which he called a milestone.
Next weekend the Elis head to Princeton for the Princeton Invitational. Sheehan said the team looks forward to facing a bigger and stronger field in New Jersey.
Correction: April 6, 2010
The original headline for this article misstated the team that finished in second place. It was Central Connecticut State University, not Southern Connecticut State University. Also, the article misstated the par of the Yale Golf Course. The course is par 69, not par 72.