Persistence helped the Elis finish strong on the golf course this weekend.
The Yale men’s golf team traveled to Toledo, Ohio over the weekend and took fourth place at the Inverness Intercollegiate Tournament, the club’s second competition of the 2014–2015 season. Competitive performances from Li Wang ’17, Joe Willis ’16 and captain Will Davenport ’15 all contributed to the Elis finishing in the top third of a field that included teams like South Florida, Mercer and East Tennessee State University. Mature play helped the Bulldogs earn their stripes at a difficult course against top-notch competition.
“I’d say the team grinded all week,” Davenport said. “Not everyone had their ‘A games,’ but we battled on one of the toughest golf courses I have ever seen. I think we played as maturely and [with as much discipline] as I could have hoped, and it paid off in a quality finish.”
Wang topped the scorecard for the Bulldogs, tying for seventh individually with a total score of 219. Davenport locked up 12th place, tallying just one more stroke than Wang at 220. Willis came in 18th place individually while Thomas Greenhalgh ’15 birdied four times — one of the highest birdie counts in the tournament.
Both Wang and Greenhalgh struggled at the beginning of their final rounds, but persistence brought the golfers back to a respectable position. Greenhalgh was seven-over through six holes and then proceeded to play the next 11 holes two-under for a score of five-over through 17.
“[Wang] has been working really hard on his game, and it is great to see it paying off for him,” Willis said. “Other highlights include the comebacks that Li and Thomas made in their final round.”
At the end of day one, Davenport and Wang led the squad with identical scores of 72 on round one and 73 on round two — good for a share of eighth place. Willis demonstrated his consistency through the first two rounds, carding identical scores of 75, which was enough to tie him for 24th place overall.
Though the Elis sat in third place at the end of day one and trailed the leaders ETSU and South Florida by just 12 strokes, they were unable to make a comeback on day two to take the title.
After spending the past two weekends on the road, the Bulldogs will have time to catch their breath this weekend before teeing off at the MacDonald Cup in two weeks’ time.
“We have an off week now, so we have two weeks until our home event, where we have performed very well over the past few years,” Davenport said. “I think we have a great process for tournament preparation, so as long as we use this off week to fine tune our games, we should be in position to contend at the MacDonald Cup next week. We will draw on the confidence of the last two weeks as well, which, combined with our home course advantage, should give us the mental edge going into competition.”
The MacDonald Cup will take place at the Yale Golf Course Oct. 4–5.