M. GOLF | Bulldogs struggle in Rhode Island

In its last tournament of the fall season, the men’s golf team’s semester-long slump showed no sign of improving. After tying for fifth at The Big Five last week, the Elis tied for 11th place in the Classic at Shelter Harbor in Westerly, R.I., last Saturday and Sunday. Only 16 teams competed in the tournament.

“We really struggled to get some consistency all year, and that is the key to golf,” captain Tom McCarthy ’11 said.

But McCarthy showed no such lack of consistency over the weekend. The senior led the way for the Bulldogs, taking sixth place individually in the tournament and shooting a 69 on Sunday to tie for the lowest round of the day.

“Tom is an incredible golfer,” head coach Colin Sheehan ’97 said. “Even when he isn’t playing well, he’s always within a few shots of winning the tournament individually. I know that Tom is going to be a force to be reckoned with in the spring season.”

Sam Bernstein ’14 tied for 27th in the tournament, shooting a cumulative 151 (+9). Bernstein said that since his strength is usually his putting, the difficult green conditions hurt his game.

Brandon Marick ’11 tied for 49th with a 155 (+13). Carson Weinand ’13 shot a 163 for the weekend, while Brad Kushner ’13 shot a 174.

Columbia took first place in the tournament with a cumulative 588 on the par-71 course. Harvard was nine shots behind, shooting a 597 for second place. Penn placed third, just one stroke behind Harvard. Dartmouth, Princeton, Cornell and Brown also competed, taking fifth, eighth, 10th and 13th places, respectively.

Sheehan said that while midterms are not an excuse for poor performance, he does realize that it is difficult to play when trying to direct one’s attention both to golf and to academics. He said it can be difficult to maintain your mental edge in such situations.

“In order for us to win and be competitive as a team, Tom needs to play well, and one or two of us needs to step up and play well with him,” Bernstein said. “No one played up to our standards of golf. We have so much talent on the team, and expectations are high, especially coming off of the team’s performance last year.”

After a rough end to the fall season, the Elis are looking forward to the spring. Bernstein said that a win at the Ivy League Championship can turn a mediocre season into a great one.

McCarthy said the team’s performance this fall will give it extra motivation to perform at its highest level.

“We have four months to work hard, rediscover our golf games, and get back to the top of the Ivy League where we belong,” McCarthy said.

McCarthy added the team’s winter conditioning should make a key difference for the spring because not all teams devote a large amount of time to winter training.

Sheehan said that he prefers an underachieving season in the fall over one in the spring, and that this last tournament in particular was a reminder that the team cannot take any success for granted.

“I know we have a lot of talent and I love the camaraderie on the team,” he said. “I think there isn’t any reason why we can’t accomplish our goals. We certainly have enough motivation.”

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