After a sixth place finish on Saturday in the Yale-hosted Macdonald Cup, the men’s golf team pulled a major comeback through rough, windy conditions to take second place on its home turf.
And although second place is not complete victory, head coach Colin Sheehan ’97 said any top finish on such a difficult course is noteworthy.
“[Heading into the tournament] I didn’t think for a second we deserved to finish first or second,” Sheehan said. “Each year we have to earn it. I’m delighted we were able to take advantage of our home course.”
A total of 13 teams competed in the tournament, including Ivy foes Dartmouth and Harvard, who tied for fifth and took seventh, respectively.
St. John’s University, who held the lead after round one of play on Saturday, retained its lead on Sunday and ultimately claimed first place with a combined score of 565, 5 over par.
Captain Tom McCarthy ’11 said the Bulldogs would have needed a “career day” on Sunday in order to catch up to St. John’s.
Yale shot a cumulative 580 (+20), while Binghamton University took third with a cumulative 582 (+22).
Brad Kushner ’13 led the Bulldogs in individual standings, tying for tenth place with a cumulative 143 (+3).
Kushner, who managed to shoot even-par on Sunday despite tough conditions, said he was very pleased with his performances both days, and he knew what he needed to work on for next weekend.
Russell Holmes ’13 tied for 12th, shooting a 144 (+4). Sheehan, McCarthy and Kushner all praised Holmes’ performance this weekend. Sheehan said Holmes’ 71 on Sunday was crucial for the team’s successful comeback. He added that Holmes had worked a great deal on his golf game this summer.
“It’s quite obvious,” Sheehan said. “He is very consistent and very competitive.”
Holmes said has been focusing on the consistency of his ball striking and keeping the driver in play. He added it pays off especially on windy days like Sunday when the slightest miscues can turn into bogeys.
McCarthy tied for twenty-second with a 147 (+7). He said his putts were not dropping this weekend, had a strong effect on where Yale finished in the tournament. He added that while not playing well on one’s home course can be frustrating at times, it also was a boost because he knew of certain holes of which he could take advantage.
Jeff Hatten ’12 tied for thirty-fourth, shooting a 150 (+10). Sam Bernstein ’14 tied for forty-sixth with a 152 (+12).
While McCarthy said he is disappointed the team did not win its home tournament, Sheehan said he was proud of the team’s perseverance on Sunday through tough conditions.
“While the conditions were ideal on Saturday, the Yale course is still a very difficult challenge…. even under ideal conditions,” Sheehan said.
Holmes said the team’s performance over the past few weekends has been gathering momentum for next weekend’s tournament, The Big Five, at the Plymouth Country Club in Plymouth Meeting, PA.
Kushner said the team is looking to improve upon its third place finish last year and that he is looking forward to next week’s tournament at The Big Five at the Plymouth Country Club in Plymouth Meeting, PA.
“I like our chances,” Sheehan said. “I like where we are as a team. We are training up. We are on the verge of playing the type of golf we are really capable of playing.”