MEN’S GOLF | Elis defend fourth straight title

Captain Bradley Kushner ’13 finished the Princeton Invitational in third place with a two-under 211, as the Bulldogs took first place as a team.
Captain Bradley Kushner ’13 finished the Princeton Invitational in third place with a two-under 211, as the Bulldogs took first place as a team. Photo by Maria Zepeda.

As he stood in the tee box on the par four 18th hole on Sunday, Thomas Greenhalgh ’15 knew that he had a chance to improve on his two Saturday rounds and give his team a shot at the tournament win. He swung, launching his drive onto the green to set up the final-hole birdie that brought his third and final round score to 76.

Even with the strong finish to his tournament, Greenhalgh finished with the highest total score of his teammates — indicating the strength of the Bulldogs team that won the Princeton Invitational at Springdale Golf Club this weekend. Captain Bradley Kushner ’13 led the Elis with a total score of 211, good for third place in the tournament, while fellow Bulldog Sam Bernstein ’14 shot 214 to finish fourth. At two under, Kushner was one of three golfers to finish the tournament under par, behind only tournament co-champions Brandon Matthews and Matthew Teesdale of Temple, who finished at -4.

“[Kushner] doubled down on his practice leading up to the event and it paid off,” head coach Colin Sheehan ’97 said in an email to the News. “That type of lead-by-example attitude is what makes him a model captain.”

Sheehan also emphasized Kushner’s role in the Bulldogs’ last three trips to the Princeton Invitational — trips that have all resulted in Yale victories.

The Elis’ torrid second round set up their eventual victory. After shooting 294 in the first round on Saturday, the team geared up for another round of golf later the same day. The Bulldogs did not disappoint, putting together the low round of the tournament with a total score of 279. Kushner posted a four-under 67 — tied for the best individual round of the tournament — while Bernstein finished two-under and Joe Willis ’16 shot an even-par 71. That round catapulted the Elis into second place entering the final round of the tournament on Sunday.

“I just think we all kind of knew we were capable of good scores in the afternoon and it came together for us nicely,” Bernstein said.

The Elis actually shot their worst round of the weekend in the third round on Sunday, combining for a team score of 295. No Yale golfer finished at or below par. Still, the squad did enough to win, finishing two strokes in front of second-place Temple.

For the first time this spring, the Elis faced all seven of their Ivy League opponents, and while Princeton finished three strokes back in third place, the Bulldogs convincingly vanquished all of their league rivals. With the Ivy League Championships only two weeks away, Kushner said that this weekend’s invitational served as a preview of what is to come.

“It reaffirms our position in the league,” Kushner said. “We are the favorites.”

The men’s golf team will continue its season next weekend at the Century Intercollegiate, hosted by Century Country Club in Purchase, N.Y.

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