Braving heavy wind and rain, the Yale Men’s Golf Team barely overcame Harvard Saturday, defeating the Crimson by just one point.
This weekend, the Elis hosted the MacDonald Cup, leading in the first round by three holes with an overall score of 286, followed closely by Harvard with 289 strokes and Kennesaw State with 295. During the second round, the team was able to achieve a score of 283 which, although lower than their first round score, was beaten by both Harvard and Kennesaw State, who notched scores of 281 and 280, respectively. But Yale was able to eke out a victory, with a grand total of 569.
“This is one of our banner tournaments of the fall season,” captain Will Davenport ’15 said. “Hosting at the Yale course is always a pleasure for us. Historically we’ve invited some really strong teams. Last year we invited Illinois and this year we invited Kennesaw State which is ranked about 25 in the country and we knew there were a lot of Ivy teams coming that are strong.”
The MacDonald Cup — which was originally planned to be a 54-hole contest, with 36 on Saturday and 18 on Sunday — was rain reduced due to the less than manageable conditions. In the end, the Bulldogs played only 18 holes on both days. Only one group was able to finish their first round on Saturday before play was suspended. The rest finished their first round and also played their second on Sunday with much better weather.
Overall the Bulldogs were pleased with their efforts both as a team and individually. Three team members — Davenport, Li Wang ’17 and Thomas Greenhalgh ’15 — all tied for second place. The Elis as a whole beat many other Ivy League schools such as Brown, Princeton, UPenn, Dartmouth and Harvard.
Greenhalgh earned a score of 72 in the first round and 69 in the second, placing him in second place. Wang also had an exceptional play the first round, shooting only 67 strokes, the lowest score out of all the players in the first round, despite the wet ground and severe wind. Despite having a rough start in his first hole, Davenport obtained a score of 73. Davenport undershot his Saturday score by five on Sunday, giving him a second score of 68.
“It was really tough, it was windy and extremely wet so you really had to focus and grind out a good score,” Greenhalgh said. “There were a lot of people from other schools who shot high, bad scores in the first round because of the conditions. Actually, all five of the Yale players put together a solid round, another testament to their skills because that was really tough out there. You just had to battle the course, battle the conditions. I think we did that really well.”
Will Bernstein ’18 also earned a spot in the top-20, even though it was his first collegiate tournament, contributing two solid rounds to the team’s win.
This weekend’s contest followed an excellent start to the team’s season. The team won their first tournament, the Doc Gimmler at Bethpage State Park, and then traveled to Ohio where they faced stiff competition, ending with a solid finish in fourth place before coming back home.
According to Greenhalgh, taking the title at the MacDonald Cup and building off previous victories, each subsequent result has given them more and more impetus to move forward.
“We have a really strong team and this is a really good start, but it’s no time to be taking the foot off the pedal,” Bernstein said.
The Yale men’s golf team will next compete Oct. 10–11 at home in the F.A. Borsodi Student Championship.