After winning by just one stroke at the Yale Spring Opener last weekend, the men’s golf team narrowly won again against Harvard.
The Elis edged out the Crimson at the Princeton Invitational on Sunday when a tiebreaker separated the two teams, who both had a score of 874. In a typical golf match, only the four lowest-scoring players contribute to a team’s final score. But in a tie situation, the fifth player is counted to determine the winner. Yale’s number five player at Princeton, Carson Weinand ’13, shot a 74 (+3) in the third round, while Harvard’s fifth player, Danny Mayer, shot a 77 (+6), giving Yale the victory by just three strokes.
Head coach Colin Sheehan said the tie was his first in his two years at Yale.
“It meant that every single stroke of all five players counted,” Sheehan said. “It showcases our depth from one to five that our fifth score was a 74.”
Six other Ivy teams competed in the tournament. Ivy foe Penn tied for third in the tournament, Princeton took ninth, Cornell finished 10th, Columbia finished 13th and Dartmouth took 15th out of the 15 schools that competed in the tournament.
Captain Ben Wescoe ’10 said defeating so many Ivy teams was a major confidence booster for the team and a strong indicator of where Yale stood within the Ivy League.
Tom McCarthy ’11 was the overall winner in the tournament, shooting a cumulative 210 (-3) after three rounds of play.
McCarthy said after a disappointing Saturday last weekend at the Yale Spring Opener, he spent the past week focusing more on practicing than playing and by Saturday, his game was clicking.
Sheehan described McCarthy as a “happy warrior” on the golf course. “He’s making smart decisions on the course,” Sheehan said. “His putting has improved, and he relishes the chance to play and to compete.”
Wescoe said McCarthy’s play was particularly impressive given the tough conditions. He said it was very cold and windy, and the greens were difficult to play. Wescoe said, however, that McCarthy’s swing looked perfect, and McCarthy was completely in control of his game.
Brad Kushner ’13 tied for 12th place with a cumulative 219 (+6), while Wescoe tied for 28th, shooting a 224 (+11). Brandon Marick ’11 and Weinand rounded out Yale’s top five, tying for 32nd with a 225 (+12) and 50th with a 228 (+15), respectively.
At the end of round two on Saturday, the Bulldogs trailed Harvard by one shot. Sheehan said his team caught up with Harvard on the back nine during the third round on Sunday.
“They each made a critical birdie late in the round which you could argue was the difference in winning the tournament,” Sheehan said.
Wescoe said after taking second place behind Dartmouth at the Dartmouth Invitational in late September, the Bulldogs have not lost to an Ivy League competitor. He said Yale currently has the best winning percentage in the NCAA, with an overall record of 62–4.
“This is by far the best winning percentage of any college golf team,” Wescoe said. “Granted, our schedule isn’t as strong because we’re playing in the Northeast.”
Sheehan said the Bulldogs will leave Friday morning for Owings Mill, Md., to compete in the Caves Valley Spring Intercollegiate. He said the team will focus on its short game in preparation for the tournament.