Despite chilly and windy weather on the Yale Golf Course this weekend, the men’s golf team took first place in the Yale Spring Opener.
The top Bulldog group had a combined score of 303 on Saturday and 301 on Sunday. Runner-up Hartford shot 300 and 310.
“The team held together and played solidly throughout the weekend,” Yale head coach Dave Paterson said. “I’m very proud of their performance.”
Yale entered three teams and faced 21 other colleges in the tournament. Ivy League rivals Dartmouth (6th place), Brown (9th) and Harvard (12th) also competed.
Last year, Yale finished second in the tournament behind Army. Army did not compete this year.
Alex Fulton ’04 was the individual winner, shooting a nine-over-par 149 for the event.
“I just tried to play safe and minimize the damage,” Fulton said of his winning performance.
Fulton’s victory is a testament to Yale’s depth as it comes just a week after he had struggled to a 35th place finish at the George Washington Invitational.
“I think every player in our top five was capable of winning this tournament,” Fulton said. “And I lucked out this time.”
According to the team, the weather had a large impact on the results of the tournament.
“I think this was the cruelest weekend’s weather we’ve ever played through,” Paterson said.
The team is optimistic about the rest of the season.
“Hopefully, we can build on the success of these past two weeks and capture a few more [tournaments] this spring,” Fulton said.
The Bulldogs, a New England District team, won the George Washington Invitational last week. Adam Cyrus ’02, who tied for third place at the Opener, stressed the importance of this second win.
“We’re trying to build as much momentum as we can,” Cyrus said.
Next week, the team will compete in the New England Championships, and from April 20 to April 22 they will compete in the Ivy League Championship.
Team captain Chris Eckerle ’02 said he thinks this victory will secure an NCAA Regionals bid for Yale. The top three teams in the New England District will qualify for Regionals, held from May 15 to May 18, and Yale was in second place heading into the Opener. The winner of the Ivy championship also gets a bid.