After two strong performances over spring break, the men’s golf team is hoping it can improve its performance during the rest of the season.
Yale traveled to Texas and Kentucky as part of its annual spring break tour. At Waterwood, Texas, an hour outside of Houston, Yale finished sixth in the field of 18. Captain Neel Williams ’03 placed fifth for the Bulldogs.
“We started out alright, but we could have done better,” Ben Levy ’04 said. “It was the first time we practiced since the fall and it showed. We were a little rough on the edges.”
Aside from rustiness, conditions were rough.
“It’s a really quirky course,” Levy said. “The bunkers and greens were in weird places. It has a different design than most New England courses.”
For the first time ever, all 11 players on the squad made the trip — a tribute to the team’s parity, according to Levy.
“The team is so talented this year,” he said. “It is hard to take one guy over another. Everyone can break par if he plays well so it makes it hard to discriminate.”
One of the more memorable moments of the trip came after the tournament.
The day before the men’s golf team left Champions Golf Club in Houston, former Masters champion Jackie Burke stepped onto the practice green with the players.
“It was pretty neat to have an ex-major winner help you with your swing,” Levy said. “That was definitely one of the highlights.”
Williams, Levy, Steven Gray ’05, Andrew Vitt ’05 and Gabriel Borrud ’06 then competed in a tournament in Kentucky.
Yale placed third out of 18 teams behind Austin Peay and host Eastern Kentucky. The team was pleased with its play.
“We could have maybe made a run for second,” Levy said, “But we did well. We finished where we should have.”
Williams was a medalist for the Elis, shooting 67-71-73 over three rounds.
“Neel [Williams] has been playing some great golf lately,” Levy said.
The team will need other players to step up as well.
“We all can shoot under par, we do it in the practice rounds,” Levy said. “We just have to be able to do that come tournament time. Right now, we are hovering in the mid to low 70s. We have to take the next step — that is a goal for us this season.”
But that is not the only team goal.
Yale travels to Maryland for the George Washington Invitational this weekend. The Elis won the Invitational last year and are hoping they can repeat that feat.
“We’re shooting to win out,” Levy said. “We want to win all the events on our schedule this spring and I think we are capable of it.”