Following its victory at the Cornell Invitational, the men’s golf team competed against the strongest field of its regular season yet at the inaugural Old Town Club Collegiate Invitational in North Carolina this week, where they finished sixth out of 12 teams. The Bulldogs carded two strong rounds of 273 and 277 before faltering with a 284 under damp conditions in the final round. The team’s composite score of 834 fell 24 strokes behind that of the tournament’s winner the University of Louisville, who are ranked ninth in the nation. Impressively, all six teams Yale defeated were ranked higher than the Elis going into the event, such as No. 20 North Carolina.
“We definitely had a great weekend,” said Eoin Leonard ’19. “We put in a strong performance as a team that showed we can compete with the best schools in the country.”
While the team collectively competed strongly, sophomore Teddy Zinsner ’21 was the player of the weekend and notched a fifth place finish overall to lead the Elis.
His superb play last weekend followed a top-10 finish at the Cornell Invitational a week ago, all of which bodes well for Zinsner as he rounds out the fall season.
“Teddy carried us to the finish line and finished fifth in a stacked field,” captain James Nicholas ’19 said. “That kid is insanely talented and has a really bright future.”
Close on Zinsner’s heels was Nicholas, who was tied for first through his first round after shooting 64. Nicholas followed his six-under opener with a 68 and 74 to fall five strokes behind his teammate. Although he commented that he wished he had a stronger final round, the reigning Ivy League Player of the Year still managed a T12 finish and said the tournament has given him confidence heading into the Macdonald Cup next weekend.
Fellow senior Leonard also had a strong performance, shooting 71–68–72 to finish just inside the top 30 players and five strokes shy of Nicholas’ 206.
Continuing the trend of five stroke intervals between players, Sean Yi ’21 finished five strokes behind Leonard. Despite a consistent 73–71–72, Yi fell just outside the top 50 players.
“I’m a bit disappointed with my performance, as I couldn’t quite put all the parts together at once,” Yi said. “But as a team, we played very well, even though we lost a bit of steam in the final round.”
Returning to play after his absence at the Cornell Invitational, Paul Stankey ’21 ran into some trouble at the Old Towne Club. Unable to hit his stride, Stankey shot 75–73–77 for a 15-over 225. Still, after his successful start to the regular season, Stankey is optimistic that he will return to form when he plays on his home turf next weekend.
The Old Town Collegiate Club Invitational marked the team’s final stop on a string of away tournaments before competing in the Macdonald Cup this weekend at the Yale Golf Course on Sept. 29-30. The Elis will be looking to defend their title after winning the event in their 2017-18 season.
“I think we just need to keep our momentum going,” said Stankey. “We’ve had a great fall, so I think we’ll just be tweaking the little things to be ready for the Mac Cup.”
After the Macdonald Cup, the Bulldogs will compete in the Harvard-Yale-Princeton match on Oct. 13 for their final event of the fall season.
Alex Reedy | firstname.lastname@example.org