The Yale men’s golf team went into the Yale Spring Opener this weekend with high spirits and with hopes for a victory. But a bout of rain on Saturday that led to the cancellation of the entire first round of the tournament dampened the teams’ morale and made it difficult for them to recover the following day.
The Bulldogs finished the tournament in eighth place from a pool of 20 teams with a score of 314 on Sunday. Oklahoma Christian University claimed the title with an impressive score of 302.
“We’re not satisfied with how we played,” captain Rick Reissman ’06 said. “The course was playing tough, but we could have played a lot better. I think that we were better than some of the teams that beat us.”
On Saturday, only 54 of 115 golfers had completed their rounds before the tournament was disrupted by rain. The tournament eventually consisted of 18 holes, all of which were played on Sunday.
“We played pretty badly overall,” Taylor Hakes ’09 said. “We were playing pretty well up to the point on the first day when the tournament got rained out. Many of the players lost feeling on their hands because it was so cold. We just didn’t play as well on the second day even though the conditions got better.”
The Bulldogs’ entire squad played in the form of two teams, and the remaining three players entered as individuals. The second team, which notched a score of 320, shared 11th place with Brown.
“Some of these guys never get a chance to play with the first team,” Reissman said. “It was good to get everyone in there and let them get some experience. They can help the team in the future.”
The fifth playing spot on the first team was occupied by Dan Levy ’06. Levy replaced Andrew Denenberg ’08, who has been playing in that position for most of the season so far. Reissman said the fifth spot is still up for grabs, and the team is looking for a consistent performance from one of the players for the Ivies.
“It turned out to be good switch,” Colby Moore ’09 said. “Andrew hadn’t been playing his best. He has a lot of talent and is a great player, but the last two weekends just weren’t his weekends. He’ll definitely bounce back like he always has. [Levy] played well and will probably be there this weekend and in the Ivies.”
Princeton was one of the three Ancient Eight teams not participating in the Spring Opener due to scheduling conflicts. The Tigers hosted the Princeton Invitational at the Springdale Golf Club in Princeton, N.J., where they finished in second place to Columbia. The Tigers are the defending Ivy champions.
The only Ivy squad that stood above the Elis was Dartmouth, which came in second. Reissman said he thinks the Bulldogs are a better team than the Big Green.
“We never thought of [Dartmouth] as a big competitor to us,” he said. “This just shows how deep the Ivy [league] is. If one team has a good weekend, they can end up high on the standings.”
Mark Matza ’07 was the top scorer for Yale, shooting 75 and coming in seventh place overall.
“Mark has been solid for us all year round,” Reissman said. “He has been carrying the load, and hopefully he can keep up his impressive performance. It would be good if some other guys can step up and help him out.”
Yale plays in the New England Championships in Providence, R.I., this weekend before heading to the Ivy Championships on April 21-23. The team will face many of the same teams in the upcoming tournament, and players said they hope to improve.
“The team is playing a lot better this spring than the fall,” Moore said. “It was a blow for us this weekend. We were expecting to dominate on our home course, but that’s behind us. We’re looking forward to the Ivies.”