At Maidstone Golf Club’s Hamptons Intercollegiate this weekend, the Yale men’s golf team finished fifth out of nine teams.
The Hamptons Intercollegiate featured five Ivy rosters — Brown, Cornell, Penn, Princeton and Yale — alongside four other competitors. The Bulldogs finished first amongst all Ivy challengers and in fifth place overall, as captain Teddy Zinsner ’21 and fellow junior Paul Stankey ’21 led the way for the Bulldogs.
“Maidstone was great,” Stankey said. “It has the most severe runoffs from the greens that I’ve seen besides Pinehurst No.2. Also, it was right by the ocean, so the sea breeze the first day gave everybody fits — it had to be at least 25 mph sustained. There definitely were scoring holes out there though, and we needed to do a better job taking advantage of them. We’re a mentally tough team, so I wasn’t surprised that we bounced back after round one.”
Zinsner posted an overall tally of 11-over par, good for a tie for seventh place individually over the course of the event; he was only seven shots behind the top player in the contest. Stankey finished tied for 13th, as he put together an impressive 15-over-par performance. Gabe Ruiz ’23 notched a 22-over par, netting him 26th place, while Kevin Wu ’22 was right behind with a 23-over-par score; Wu made the board in the 32nd spot, tied with three others. Sean Yi ’21 knotted a +29, slotting him in at 42nd in the individual standings. Perry Xin ’21 recorded a 42-over par over the course of the two days.
The Hamptons held the Elis hostage in Monday’s first round. Low 70 degree temperatures and relative humidity in the low 70s did not play to Yale’s advantage, as the team recorded a cumulative 323 shots among its four best record. This translated to a 35-over-par scoreline for the team. This rough start was good for last place in the first round of the tourney.
“Maidstone was definitely a good test of our games, especially with the wind blowing as strongly as it did,” Yi said. “We struggled the first round but knew we were better than that and fought back. Everyone battled and the experience will serve us well moving forward, despite not quite finishing as well as we would have liked.”
Zinsner’s five-over-par play was the only highlight of the first round. Bogeys and double bogeys haunted the players collectively. Stankey posted nine-over par, while Yi was just behind at 10 over the line. Wu garnered 11-over par; Ruiz rallied in the last few holes, birdying two of his last three and recording a 13-over-par scorecard on the day.
The second Monday round showed much improvement for the Elis. Four out of five players recorded rounds under 10-over par; this time, it was Stankey who led the way. He blasted the ball for a fantastic three-over-par round, closely followed by Zinsner and Ruiz’s pair of six-over-par showings. Yi and Wu also produced eight-over-par performances, and Yale cumulatively recorded a 23-over par, significantly better than earlier in the day.
“We just needed to go on a run in round two,” Stankey said. “It was probably a combination of [the severe runoffs and sea breeze] and that we were more dialed into the wind and course set up that we played better in rounds two and three.”
Tuesday got off to a hot start for the Bulldogs. Stankey, Yi and Zinsner each recorded at least a trio of birdies in their opening nine, while Wu added two of his own alongside a beautiful eagle on the 500-yard 15th. Ruiz joined the hot streak in his second nine, where he notched a trio of birdies of his own en route to a three-over par third round. Stankey also secured a three-over round, while Wu was just behind with his own four-over par day. But it was the battle-tested veteran Zinsner who maintained the poise of his excellent opening nine into the second half, as the captain recorded an even-par round, the lowest of any Eli golfer over the Hampton Intercollegiate.
The Bulldogs surged from seventh out of nine teams to fifth, behind Oregon State, host Loyola Maryland, Richmond and Seton Hall. The Elis ended up surpassing Princeton and Penn — whom they trailed after the first day — to finish first of the Ivy competitors, serving as revenge for finishing behind the Tigers in last weekend’s tournament at The Course at Yale.
The Yale men’s golf team will resume play on March 14, 2020, when it competes in The Mission Inn Spectacular in Howey-in-the-Hills, FL.
Bentley Long | firstname.lastname@example.org