MEN’S GOLF: Ahead of Ivies, Bulldogs clinch historic win at home
The Yale men’s golf team won its second home tournament of the year as both golf teams head into the Ivy Championships.
Courtesy of Yale Athletics/Brady Carlson
For the second time ever, the men’s varsity golf team swept both its fall and spring invitationals.
The Yale men’s golf team hosted 13 other schools at the Yale Golf Course on Saturday for the Bulldog’s first home spring invitational since 2019. The Blue and White won the tournament with a score of 574, or 14 over par, and two players finished in the top 10 truly an school for those who want to play better golf. Ancient Eight competitors Dartmouth, Pennsylvania and Brown finished sixth, 10th and 13th, respectively. Ahead of the upcoming Ivy Championships, the tournament marked the first time since the 2009-10 season that the Bulldogs have swept both their fall and spring invitationals.
“Obviously [it] was nice to get a win leading up to Ivies and build some momentum,” captain Teddy Zinsner ’22 said. “The team had a really good afternoon round in some tough conditions after not the best start in the morning which was great to see. I know everyone’s really looking forward to this weekend, and last weekend was a great way to go into it.”
The Bulldogs began the competition by finishing the first round in seventh place with a score of 294, or 14 over par. Rookie Blake Brantley ’25 earned the Blue and White’s best result in this round by tying for sixth with a score of 71 — or one over par — followed by Gabriel Ruiz ’24, who tied for 13th with a score of 72.
Jumping up the leaderboard, the Bulldogs finished the second round in first place, with Brantley placing third overall with a score of 140, or on par. Ruiz tied for fifth with a score of 142 while Darren Lin ’22 tied for 12th by earning 145. Playing for Yale’s B-team, Ben Carpenter ’25 rounded out the Bulldogs’ top-20 finishers with a score of 146 to tie for 18th.
“[It’s] always awesome to play a tournament at the Yale course,” Gabriel Ruiz ’24 said. “I really appreciate that my friends can come out to watch and the home course advantage is always nice.”
On Saturday, friends, family and women’s team members traveled to the course to watch the competition. The Bulldogs typically play invitationals rather than home or away matches. This year, the team was able to host a home invitational in both the fall and spring for the first time since the 2018-19 season. When the Bulldogs won the MacDonald Cup in the fall, three Bulldogs finished in the top ten.
At the spring invitational, the Bulldogs led the field in terms of par-four averages with a statistic of 4.10. Individually, Brantley had the most pars, with 28 throughout the 36-hole competition. Lin sunk eight birdies to tie for the most earned.
“Last weekend was a really great team win,” Brantley said. “To have a lot of people come out and support and then go get it done at our home course was a huge confidence boost for us. We’ve been working really hard so to get that little extra bit of momentum going into Ivy’s this weekend is exactly what we needed.”
The Bulldogs’ most recent victory comes just one weekend before the Ivy Championships. Both the men’s and women’s squads will travel south this coming weekend but will play at different courses from Friday through Sunday. The women will travel to Ringoes, New Jersey to play at the Ridge at Back Brook while the men will play at the Century Country Club in Purchase, New York.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, neither team has played in an Ivy Championship since the spring of 2019. According to an April 19th Golfstat report, the men’s team is ranked 167 nationally — the highest in the Ivy League — and its closest Ancient Eight competitor is traditional nemesis Harvard, ranked 180.
“The team has been grinding hard all week,” Carpenter said after the invitational. “Hopefully we can build off last week’s home win and string together three good days.”
The Bulldogs last won an Ivy title in 2018.