For the second year in a row, Princeton outperformed the men’s golf team on the links at the Ivy League Golf Championship.
A quintet of Eli men traveled to Metedeconk National Golf Club in Jackson, N.J., and shot a combined 907 in the three-round tournament. The Bulldogs placed second, distancing themselves from third-place Dartmouth by 19 strokes. The defending champion Tigers held firm with a score of 894, 30 over par.
“I was disappointed with the loss to Princeton since this is one of the best teams I’ve had in my [25-year] tenure at Yale,” head coach Dave Paterson said.
The team also was dissatisfied with its second-place finish.
“There is no love lost between our two teams, and we wanted very badly to beat them this year,” Adam Cyrus ’02 said.
The Bulldogs led all participating squads with 39 birdies, but they stripped themselves of any advantage with a whopping 86 double and triple bogeys.
“We were not sharp and probably tired — a result of playing six events on six consecutive weeks,” Paterson said.
Heading into the final round, the Elis knew they had the talent to overcome Princeton’s eight-stroke lead, but they were not able to execute, shooting a 23-over par 311. Sunday’s cooler temperatures played a part in hindering the Bulldog game.
“We’ve typically battled well in adverse scoring conditions all year, and that would have been a great time to continue that trend, but we were pressing a bit too hard,” Cyrus said.
Yale’s top finisher was Neel Williams ’04 who shot a 224 and captured 5th despite a third-round score of 77. Williams was six strokes behind the title winner, Princeton’s James Milam.
In his Ivy championship debut, Cyrus who placed seventh with a score of 226. In the second round, Cyrus went on a tear, shooting par or better for 12 consecutive holes. But over the tournament, he notched double bogeys on three par-4s.
“That’s the kind of golf course it is,” he said. “If you could limit or eliminate the bad holes, you stood to finish very well. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to minimize those mistakes as well as I would have liked.”
Though Yale was once again disappointed with the outcome, the men distinguished themselves from the rest of the Ivy pack. Bulldog captain Chris Eckerle ’02 cracked the top ten, shooting a 229, while teammates Alex Fulton ’04 and Steve Gray ’05 both placed in the upper half of the 40-man field.
The men will now focus on improving on this performance for the NCAA East Regionals in Atlanta May 16-18.
“We will look for revenge,” Paterson said.