In a tournament afflicted by steady rains and heavy winds, the Yale men’s golf team rallied to a fifth place finish in an otherwise disappointing weekend.
The Elis shot a total of 929 in three rounds at the 2006 Ivy Championships held at the Ballyowen Golf Course in northern New Jersey this weekend. Princeton claimed the gold jacket for the third straight year, scoring a total of 895. Columbia came in a close second place, just a stroke behind the Tigers, to end the tournament in nail-biting fashion. Even though the Elis improved last year’s standings at the tournament by two spots, players said they were disappointed.
“The team wasn’t satisfied as we had gone in with the goal of winning,” Colby Moore ’09 said. “We played OK considering the nasty weather, and we played well in the third round especially, but I think our performance in the first two rounds was what took away our chance.”
The Bulldogs had placed fourth in last weekend’s New England Championships, scoring higher than all the other Ancient Eight teams that had competed.
Mark Matza ’07 was the top scorer for Yale this weekend, earning a total of 224 and tying for sixth place. Matza had performed consistently well throughout the season, finishing in the top 10 in the last three tournaments. He was awarded with an All-Ivy trophy at the end of the championships.
“I’m happy to make the All-Ivy, but I definitely would’ve liked the team to finish a little better,” Matza said. “I missed some easy putts towards the end, and overall the outing didn’t go our way.”
Moore shot the second best round for the Elis, with a two under par 70 on Sunday. He finished in 12th place overall with 224. Both Moore and Taylor Hakes ’09 have been playing well throughout the season, their teammates said.
“The freshmen have been an integral part if our team,” Matza said. “They’ve played well all season long and held up their end of the bargain. They were playing well going into the tournament. This was a good start for them to be able to be exposed to the Ivies as freshmen.”
The championships marked the end of captain Rick Reissman’s ’06 undergraduate golfing career. Reissman scored 236 and came in 21st place. Moore said he thinks Reissman had a good season and should be proud of his four years at Yale.
“[Reissman]’s had a great career,” Matza said. “He is an unbelievable talent, a great guy, a good friend and a great captain. I’m sure that he’s going to do well in life. The team will miss him a lot.”
Reissman could not be reached for comment Sunday.
Joe Hernandez ’08 said Reissman’s contribution will be missed, and it will be hard to fill his shoes. But with a new wave of freshmen coming in next year and with Moore and Hakes already a part of the playing five, the team for next year looks good, several players said.
“Even though we didn’t win this year, we feel like we can play better next year,” Hernandez said. “We grinded through it as best as we could this time, but we can definitely play better.”