The men’s golf team did not capture its third consecutive Macdonald Cup this weekend, but the team has plenty to be proud of as the Elis finished strong in second place.

Competing at home this past weekend at The Course at Yale, the Bulldogs faced a tough playing field that included Illinois, who placed fifth at last year’s NCAA championships. As expected, the Fighting Illini performed at an elite level with four of the team’s golfers placing in the top five. Breaking several tournament records along the way, Illinois finished the tournament with a score of -33.

“This was a solid showing for us. We met up with last year’s NCAA finalist and a current top-five team in the nation and we were within striking distance of them all weekend,” Will Davenport ’15 said in an email. “It was a quality team effort, and our second place finish was a very convincing one as well, joining Illinois as the only two teams to shoot under par for the weekend.”

Still, the Elis played consistent and solid golf. Placing second in the tournament, the Elis carded a final score of -8, which was well ahead of Ivy League rivals Dartmouth (+23), Penn (+37), Cornell (+43) and Brown (+46).

With another strong tournament finish for the team this season, the Elis are more determined than ever to win the Ivy League championship. Captain Sam Bernstein ’14, who finished the tournament in seventh place with a score of -3, expressed satisfaction with the team’s result.

“We played well this weekend”, Bernstein said. “We had good numbers as a team, and we’ve had three strong finishes to start this season. If we continue to play at this level of golf, we know we can achieve our ultimate goal, which is to contend for an NCAA championship berth.”

The top performer for the Elis this weekend was Davenport, who finished in sixth place with a score of -4. Sean Gaudette ’14 recorded an eighth place finish with a score of -2, and James Park ’17 placed 14th with a score of +2.

Examining the results, it may have appeared that Davenport shot his worst round of the weekend on Sunday, posting an even par of 70 after shooting rounds of 69 and 67 on Saturday. But extenuating circumstances were in play: Davenport battled the flu all day on Sunday, and still managed to finish strong.

When asked about the team’s overall performance in the tournament, Berstein said, “We’re a deep team. We started strong and limited our mistakes. It was a solid weekend of golf for us.”

Although the Elis were not able to defend their Macdonald Cup title, the team gained valuable experience this past weekend facing one of the best golf teams in the nation in Illinois. With a strong start to the season, the Elis look to continue proving that they can play among the best.

The men’s golf team will play its last tournament of the fall season on Oct. 19th at the Ivy League Matchplay, which will take place at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J.