Last weekend, the Yale men’s golf team posted a fantastic performance in The Doc Gimmler, hosted by St. John’s University, as the Elis secured a top-two team ranking at the end of three rounds.
In the 14-team tournament, Yale remained near the top for the entirety of the contest. The Bulldogs sat at third place after both the first and the second rounds behind Navy and Lafayette College, before pulling ahead of the Leopards late on Sunday to grab second place on the podium.
“We played a lot of good golf, and I think we’re in good shape for the rest of the season,” Paul Stankey ’21 said. “If you look at last year, we didn’t play well in our first tournament but played great in our second.”
Yale was again led by team captain and First-Team All-Ivy selection Teddy Zinsner ’21, who opened play Saturday with a blistering three-under-par round. Gabe Ruiz ’23, Darren Lin ’22, Stankey and Sean Yi ’21 rounded out the five-man rotation for the second consecutive tournament, following the team’s earlier play in the Alex Lagowitz Memorial Invitational.
Zinsner once again excelled across the course. In the first round on Saturday, he had a breathtaking run of four consecutive birdies to finish the front nine. He followed it up with a par performance later on in the afternoon. Zinsner served up another par round on Sunday, netting him a three-under-par total for the weekend. He tied for fifth overall in the individual standings and was first among the Bulldogs.
Ruiz followed close behind Zinsner and ended up tied for seventh. After a decent start to his collegiate golf career in the first tourney of the season, Ruiz burst out of his shell to help the Bulldogs notch second place. Despite a three-over-par first round, Ruiz was able to exceed all expectations in the second and third rounds to slide into a tie for seventh place overall in the individual standings.
He shot 68 on the par 70 course in his second round on Saturday, netting him a one-over-par score on the first day of play. Like Zinsner, he had his own streak of four birdies. Ruiz’s hard-fought 67 on Sunday, featuring an eagle on the 16th hole, catapulted the Elis to a two-under individual score. His two-under play was the third highest among all first-year golfers at The Doc Gimmler, behind only Bryson Richards of Rhode Island and Chris Fosdick of Florida Southern.
Lin also played one of his best trios of rounds of golf to date. Right out of the gate, he swung a solid two-under-par round as he managed to eagle the notorious 16th hole par five. On Saturday afternoon, fatigue settled in, and he notched a respectable five-over-par in the second round. On Sunday, Lin returned to peak form, as the sophomore garnered a one-under-par third round. His two-over-par cumulative score was good for a tie for 11th place in the individual rankings.
“The team’s preparation has pretty much stayed the same,” Ruiz said. “We are confident that our process is working, we just need to keep doing what we’re doing. From last weekend, we learned the importance of being persistent on 36-hole days. It can be very hard to keep your focus for 10 straight hours. Conditioning definitely plays a big role down the stretch; if you know your body will hold up, which we know it can, we feel good coming into the final round.”
Yi and Stankey rounded out the Bulldogs’ five-man rotation this weekend, with each contributing rounds to the Yale scoreline. Both began the match at about even play, with Yi sitting at three-over and Stankey sitting at four-over at the end of the first round on Saturday. Stankey returned later on that day to record an impressive one-over-par second round, at one point going as much as three-under. Yi’s game declined due to the rapidity of play, and the junior recorded seven-over-par in the second round.
However, the duo’s fortunes reversed on Sunday. In the final round, Yi recorded an admirable two-over-par round, while Stankey struggled. His 78, good for eight-over-par, was predominantly due to three double bogeys on a trio of par-four holes alongside three straight bogeys to close out the round.
Overall, the Elis finished behind only Navy, who placed nine strokes ahead of Yale.
The Bulldogs head to Winston-Salem, North Carolina next Monday and Tuesday to partake in the Old Town Collegiate Invitational, hosted by Wake Forest University.
Bentley Long | firstname.lastname@example.org