In sunny California and rain-laden Hawaii, the men’s golf team showed promise for the rest of the season.

The Bulldogs finished seventh out of 12 teams, scoring 291 in the seventh annual Kauai Collegiate Cup at the Princeville Resort in Kauai, Hawaii on March 17-18. The team first traveled to the Monterey Peninsula of California for training and then to Hawaii for the tournament.

“It was an amazing trip.” Mark Matza ’07 said. “We played on tremendous golf courses on Pebble Beach and did well. We played well in Hawaii, finishing pretty close to the top.”

The Elis were only 13 strokes behind winner Illinois State University and only one stroke behind defending champion and host Western Kentucky, which finished up in sixth place.

“[The team] all played well,” Nate Hundt ’07 said. “Everybody has shown a lot of improvement from the fall, and we’re looking forward to the spring season.”

The tournament was reduced to only a single round of 18 holes rather than the slated three rounds — 54 holes total — due to heavy rains in Kauai. Team members said they were disappointed at the shortened tournament but were glad to be back on the course. This was the first time they have competed on a course since November.

“[The team] played pretty well in Hawaii and California,” Andrew Denenberg ’07 said. “The amount of rain was ridiculous [in Kauai]. We needed a blanket and suntan lotion to play all of [the trip].”

Yale’s top performers were Matza and captain Rick Reissman ’06, who both tied for 12th place with scores of 71.

“Mark kind of played like Danny Neumann in Caddy Shack,” Denenberg said. “He has been pretty consistent and has been the lowest scorer for us every single day. Rick was using a broom handle to putt, and it was giving him a little trouble. But he came through the first round, and this helped us a lot. This was one of our better rounds.”

The Bulldogs who played in Hawaii included Reissman, Matza, Denenberg, Colby Moore ’09 and Taylor Hakes ’09. The two freshmen are showing signs of promise, and both performed well in the tournament, several players said.

“[The freshmen] are great — [Moore] and [Hakes] are two players that have come in and have played every match,” Matza said. “They have become an integral part of the team, and I’m sure they will have great careers at Yale.”

The Bulldogs’ next stop is Westover, Md., where they will play the Drew Upton Classic on April 1-2. The Bulldogs said they are optimistic of their chances in the upcoming tournament.

“I can guarantee that we will have a better spring season than fall season.” Denenberg said.