Yale’s most cherished and hated rival in the Ivy League came out in full force against the golf teams this weekend.
The men’s team came back after the first day to place higher than Harvard at the Yale Spring Opener, but the women’s team just couldn’t surpass the Crimson, who won first place at the Columbia Invitational.
“We showed a lot of heart coming back to beat Harvard,” Ben Wescoe ’10 said. “They were leading the first day, and we were a little surprised because we have not lost to them in 20 years. They have some good players, but we showed that we are the better team.”
After ending the first day of its only spring home event in fourth place, the men’s team came back for round two on Sunday determined to close the gap separating them from the top three teams. With a final score of 598 (299-299), the Bulldogs finished one stroke behind both the University of Hartford and Johnson and Wales University, who tied for first place with 597. In a technicality, Hartford was awarded first because Johnson and Wales missed the playoff due to flight arrangements.
“We played really well and lost in a heartbreaker, but that’s just the way golf goes sometimes,” captain Mark Matza ’07 said. “We only lost by one shot, which is nothing relative to 597 strokes.”
Tying for seventh place with a 75-72-147, Matza was the Elis’ second-lowest scorer for the tournament, one stroke behind Colby Moore ’09, who tied for third place (74-72-146). Wescoe (74-76-150, T11), Taylor Hakes ’09 (76-79-155, T31) and Andrew Denenberg ’08 (82-79-161, T57) also contributed to the third-place finish.
As the hosts of the tournament, the Bulldogs also had a second team competing. The team consisted of Corey Lomas ’07 (159, T47), Seve Gonzales ’10 (161, T57), Tom Ginakakis ’09 (169, T90) and Nate Hundt ’07 (172, T101). Joe Potter ’07 withdrew after the first day because of a recurring wrist injury.
Coming in ahead of the rest of the competing Ivy League teams was a highlight for many of the golfers.
“It was awesome to beat all of them coming up to conference champs,” Matza said. “It’s always exciting being at home and having everyone pulling for you, and it was really a thrill playing in my last home tournament.”
Among the supporters at the home tournament this weekend were the members of the women’s golf team, who returned on Sunday with a second-place finish at the Columbia Invitational in New York. The Bulldogs now have back-to-back tournaments in which both the team and an individual player won the number two spot.
The Elis shot a 649 for the weekend, falling only to rival Harvard’s 641. Lindsay Hong ’08 was Yale’s top golfer and the runner-up in the tournament with a 154 behind St. John’s Brittany Lambertson (149).
“It was really good for us to play in this tournament because we have been playing down south a lot this season and chances are that at Ivies, it will be really cold,” Ellie Brophy ’08 said.
Captain Cindy Shin ’07 (163, T9), Brophy (168, T15), Erica Im ’09 (170, T19) and Taylor Lee ’10 (175, T28) also had impressive rounds that led the team to success.
As defending champions in the Ivy League Championship that is right around the corner on April 21, the women’s golf team has to get geared up to play Harvard and other Ancient Eight rivals.
“Harvard and Princeton are our biggest competition this year,” Brophy said. “Princeton has always been our biggest competition because we are the only two teams who have ever won the Ivy League, but Harvard came onto the scene this year as well.”