One of 18 is a seemingly innocent figure: 5.56 percent.

But one hole in a round of golf, Ben Levy ’04 learned this weekend at the New England District I Championship in Providence, can seal the fate of the other 94.46 percent.

“What could have been a great round turned into an okay one, with just one bad hole,” he said. “I started out with a triple bogey. That one hole was the difference between a 76 and a 73.”

Levy and the men’s golf team finished in sixth place with a 612 total, 20 strokes behind titlist Rhode Island, which with the win, earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Eastern Regional tournament. One-hole lapses hurt Yale all weekend long.

“We got down early with some bad holes,” Levy said. “There are only so many chance for birdies in a round. It’s hard to come back.”

Captain Neel Williams ’03 tied for 17th with a 151, the best for Yale. But he alone could not again salvage another mediocre effort by the team.

Dan Levy ’06 moved into the top-5 lineup for the first time this season and shot a 153, good enough for second-best on the team. Brian Kim ’06 finished with a 154. Steve Gray ’05 carded a 155, as did Dan Levy’s older brother Ben.

“We could have done a lot better this weekend,” Ben Levy said. “But one person can’t carry the team. Neel [Williams] has been shooting really well, but we all need to step up.”

Williams led Yale to third and sixth places finishes over spring break. More recently, he was medalist at the George Washington Invitational March 31.

“Everyone is just frustrated,” Ben Levy said. “One day it’s chipping, another day it’s putting. But the little mistakes are costing us tournaments.”

It has been seven months since Yale last won a tournament. The Elis took home the first place trophy at Dartmouth in September, but they have struggled since. Prior to this weekend, the team’s less-than-stellar results had not compromised its postseason chances. But this weekend may have seriously endangered Yale’s bid to NCAA Regionals. Yale, currently in second place in the district standing, fell to third-place Binghamton University, levelling the season series between the two programs at 2-2. The top three teams of the district go to Regionals, at Auburn University, May 15 to 17.

Yale now has two weeks off before its next and final regular season competition: the Ivy League Championship. The break, players said, is much-needed and will be put to good use.

“It’s huge for us,” Ben Levy said. “It’s our first break this spring to practice and work on our swings and fine tune our game in general. It provides the perfect opportunity for us to work on the fundamentals.”

Gray agreed.

“The break will allow us to catch our breaths,” he said. “We’ve been playing tournaments every weekend for the past six weekends. During the week, we’re catching up on school work, and practices haven’t been that good. We have to make improvements in between our tournaments. That is the time to do it.”

The Ivy League Championship will be at the Metedeconk Golf Course in New Jersey.