In its final match of the regular season, the men’s golf team was unable to add a second tournament win to last week’s Princeton Invitational victory.
As host of the Century Intercollegiate tournament, Yale was able to field two separate teams against the six other colleges participating. But both would succumb to the tricky course at the tournament in Purchase, N.Y., finishing in third and eighth place. It was the final tune-up before the Ivy League Championship this weekend. Yale’s first team was in second place after the first round, but was unable to catch Harvard, or prevent George Washington from passing them. The Crimson and Colonials were six and five strokes ahead to finish first and second, respectively.
High winds, a temperature in the low 40s and rain prevented anyone from shooting lower than 77 (+6) the first day. Captain Thomas McCarthy ’11 and Jeff Hatten ’12 led Yale at +9, both tying for ninth place after Saturday. Weather aside, Hatten explained that the course is demanding in itself, attributing this difficulty to the fast, sloping greens. The wind, he said, only exaggerated the mistakes.
The wind would continue into the next day, even as the sun came out to warm the course. However, all the players on both Yale teams would improve their scores. Michael Fader ’11 showed the most improvement, shooting 10 strokes lower in the second round for a 77, and moved up 13 places to finish 23rd out of 45 competitors.
“I played like crap in round one, so I had quite a bit of room to improve,” Fader said.
McCarthy would surge to fourth place, shooting a 75 to end at +13, the lowest score for the Bulldogs in the tournament. He said his improvement was due to a change in “mindset” — coming to accept that the conditions were going to force bad shots.
“The key was to move on and give your best effort on the next one, to avoid a spiral of bad holes,” McCarthy said.
The first team had the most consistent scores of any other college competing in the tournament, as all five Bulldogs fell within nine strokes of one another. Bradley Kushner ’13 said that consistency was one indication of the team’s overall depth, something which was visible even on the second squad. On that team, Carson Weinand ’13 and Russell Holmes ’13 scored in the same +13 to +22 range.
“Teams need four solid scores in order to expect to be high on the leaderboard,” McCarthy said.
Next week’s Ivy League Championships will be held at the notoriously challenging Galloway National golf course. Members of the team mentioned Penn, Harvard and Columbia as the teams to beat. However, they have also explained that the parity is such in the Ivies that any team has a legitimate shot to win.
“The winner will be the team that plays the most consistently over the three days of the Ivy tournament,” Kushner said. “We need to play smart and just give it our all.”
The team will tee-off this Friday in Galloway, N.J.