The men’s golf team faltered on its home course this weekend, placing a disappointing seventh of 18 at the MacDonald Cup.

The Bulldogs racked up a score of 925, tying with Birmingham Southern for seventh place. Binghampton won the event with a score of 904, while the University of Pennsylvania came in second with a score of 910. The Elis’ generally poor performance was unexpected.

“We prepared hard enough to finish better than seventh,” Colby Moore ’09 said.

The Elis got off to a difficult start on Saturday. There was a mix-up with the grounds crew that resulted in the more difficult last-day pins being put in on the first day. In addition to that, the wind was blowing hard and the greens were particularly fast, making it difficult to score.

“[The conditions] put us in a spot that we could not climb out of,” Moore said.

The rocky start had an immediate effect on the Bulldogs’ performance. In the first round, Yale was actually behind Harvard — to whom the Bulldogs have not lost in the 32 years that head coach Dave Paterson has been working with the team. But the Elis managed to put the Crimson back in their place by the end, as Harvard finished in ninth position just behind the Elis.

Mark Matza ’07 was the Elis’ top finisher, scoring a twelve-over 222 points after the third round, placing him in seventh overall.

“The course was in great shape and challenging,” Matza said. “I played pretty solidly. Playing the 18th hole at one under par was definitely a high point.”

Matza’s impact on the team was particularly appreciated this weekend, Andrew Denenberg ’08 said.

“We’ve been fortunate to have Mark on the team in more ways than one,” Denenberg said. “Mark had to make the tough decision after high school whether to play football or golf here at Yale. We’re pretty darn happy he chose golf, as he’s been our leader on the course the past few years.”

Yale’s second finisher was Moore, who posted an 81 in a difficult first round, but managed to come back in the second and third, scoring a 71 and a 74, respectively.

“Playing on the home course didn’t seem to be much of an advantage with the exceptions of Colby and Mark,” Denenberg said, “Colby has emerged as a consistent scorer.”

The team was rounded out by Ben Wescoe ’10 who finished 37th with a 238, Joe Hernandez ’08 who placed 40th with a 240, and Taylor Hakes ’09 who ended up in 50th with a 242. The second Yale team finished in 16th overall with a cumulative score of 989.

Although the end results may have been disappointing, the team is not in despair.

“Considering that we did not play up to our potential and we only lost by 21 shots, it shows that we can win tournaments,” Moore said.

Next up, the team heads off to the West Coast where they will play at the San Diego State Invite, their last tournament of the fall season. Since they are not going to be playing many Northeastern schools, there will be less pressure, Matza said. Still, the Elis hope to end things correctly.

“We are going to take the positives and learn from our mistakes,” Moore said. “Our goal is to win the last tournament.”