This past weekend, the men’s golf team competed against rival Harvard at the Maidstone Club in East Hampton, New York. This tournament took on a special format — the teams compete in alternate shot matches in the morning and matchplay in the afternoon. Each match was worth one point, and the first team to earn 6.5 points won. Despite a resilient comeback following a 0–4 loss in the morning, the team lost to Harvard by a narrow 6.5–5.5.
In the morning alternate shot matches, the team split eight players into four twosomes: captain William Davenport ’15 and Thomas Greenhalgh ’15, Li Wang ’17 and Joe Willis ’16, Jonathan Lai ’17 and Will Bernstein ’18, and brothers John McNiff ’15 and Nick McNiff ’17. The Elis lost all four matches and headed into the afternoon with much ground to make up, being at a 0–4 disadvantage.
In the following matchplay, however, the Bulldogs staged an almost miraculous comeback, winning the singles 5.5–2.5. Davenport, Greenhalgh, Willis, Lai and Jimmy Park ’17 all won their matches, freshman Henry Cassriel ’18 tied his match and Wang and Bernstein lost to Harvard. The team fought resiliently to compensate for its earlier loss in the alternate shot matches, but lost narrowly in the end 6.5–5.5.
Despite the loss, members of the team were proud of their valiant comeback effort.
“I was very proud of the whole team’s bounce back in the afternoon,” said Greenhalgh. “Davenport, Park, Willis, Lai [and myself] all produced impressive wins against their Harvard opponents in the afternoon, and despite the narrow loss I feel that the positivity gained from the afternoon’s singles performance is something we can all look at with great encouragement for the future.”
Wang agreed that the team’s effort mattered more than end results. According to Wang, each team member gave their best effort and enjoyed the tournament as a capstone to the fall season. Wang also noted that the loss to the Crimson at the end of the Fall serves as motivation to train through the winter leading up to Spring competition.
This tournament marks the end of a successful fall season for the men’s golf team. The Elis played in four tournaments prior to this weekend, placing first at both the Doc Gimmler tournament and MacDonald Cup. Though the team suffered a narrow loss this weekend, Davenport said he believes the tournament reflected highly upon the potential of the team.
“Despite the narrow loss, there are a lot of positives to take away from this weekend,” Davenport said. “We are going into the offseason with a very high level of confidence in the depth and talent of this team.”
The Bulldogs will next compete at the Linger Longer Invitational in the spring on March 21, 2015.