After a fourth-place finish at the Ivy League Championships in April and some notable performances by Bulldog golfers over the summer, the Yale men’s golf team returned to the course last weekend to compete in the F.A. Borsodi Student Championship in preparation for the 2018–19 season.
Yale teammates competed against one another for the title of the annual three-day season primer, with captain James Nicholas ’19 emerging victorious for the third straight year. The reigning Ivy League Player of the Year posted a stellar five-under 73–63–68, besting second-place finishers Darren Lin ’22 and Sean Yi ’21, who tied with even-par scores of 69–68–72 and 67–70–72, respectively.
“Our team worked hard over the summer and can’t wait to compete,” Nicholas said. “I think everyone is feeling good about their games right now so I am looking forward to a good season.”
Rounding out the top seven were Eoin Leonard ’19, Paul Stankey ’21, Perry Xin ’21 and Teddy Zinsner ’21, all of whom will travel to Farmingdale, New York, this weekend for the Doc Gimmler tournament, hosted by St. John’s. The tournament will take place at the Bethpage Red Course.
Several Bulldogs are coming off an intense summer of competitive golf, including Leonard. The senior returns after a stellar summer of individual play highlighted by his win at the Irish Amateur.
Leonard also competed in the U.S. Amateur, advancing to the Round of 64 after two strong rounds of stroke play. Although Leonard lost in the Round of 64, he said that his performance in the tournaments demonstrated to him that he could compete at a high level, giving him confidence as he begins the season.
Stankey noted that many of the players have good reason to be confident as well.
“The team is looking really sharp right now,” he said. “Lots of guys played some solid golf at the Borsodi this weekend, so hopefully we’ll have a good showing next weekend.”
The team will play without Will Bernstein ’18 and Henry Cassriel ’18, who graduated last year. The duo played a critical role in Yale’s starting lineup throughout their time in New Haven, and both were crucial to last season’s Ivy League Championship.
Bernstein in particular was known as one of the most formidable players in the Ancient Eight. Nevertheless, the team looks poised for a dominating season as it welcomes first years Lin and Kevin Wu ’22.
“We lost two incredible players in Will and Henry last year, so it will be nice to see who steps up to try and fill their spots,” Nicholas said.
This weekend’s tournament at the Doc Gimmler marks the beginning of a stretch of away matches. On Sept. 15, the Elis will travel to Ithaca, New York to compete in the two-day Cornell Invitational, followed by the Old Town Club Collegiate Invitational in Winston-Salem, North Carolina on Sept. 24–25.
Play this fall comes on the heels of a record-setting 2017–18 season, which culminated with the Bulldogs’ win at the Ivy League Championships. The team demolished its Ancient Eight rivals at the event, with a cumulative team score 22 strokes better than that of second-place Harvard. As the top-ranked team in the Ivy League, teammates agreed that their goal for the new year is clear: protect the crown.
“We always have our eyes on the Ivy title,” Stankey said. “It’d be great if we could defend it this year.”
Head coach Colin Sheehan ’97 is heading into his 11th season leading the Bulldogs.
Alex Reedy | firstname.lastname@example.org