The golf team participated in the Williams Invitational tournament this past weekend. The team improved their play from last week, finishing 18th out of 19 competing teams. The tournament, played at the Taconic Golf Course in Williamstown, Mass., was an overall success for the team.
Playing a tough par 71 at the Taconic, several new Cardinal golfers make their season debuts this weekend. Hank Barrett ’17, as well as Ted Bang ’16, had solid debuts for the Redbirds. Barrett, tied for the team lead with a combined 174 over the weekend, shot an 89 on Saturday, followed by a strong 85 on Sunday. Barrett, along with Paul Andrick ’16, tied for 82nd in the field. Andrick’s contribution in this tournament followed up stout performances from the past few weekends. Shooting a team low 85 on Saturday, he will look to build upon that success in the coming weeks.
Bang also had an encouraging performance, finishing with a combined 188, including a solid 88 on Saturday. Nikhil Lai ’15 also played well, pitching and putting his way to an 88 on Saturday, followed by an 89 on Sunday. Emmet Daly ’18 continued to make an impact, finishing 5th among Wesleyan golfers by shooting a combined 190.
Barrett, having grown up in Williamstown, made his debut at his home course, and used the knowledge of the links to his advantage.
“Having my first tournament be at my home course was really nice,” Barrett said. “I knew what to expect and what I should be hitting off the tee. I knew more about the greens than probably most people, and where I wanted or didn’t want to be. It was also cool to have my parents and a couple of my friends from Williams come out and watch a few holes. It was fun to be back in my hometown and on my course. I definitely wish I could’ve taken advantage of the extra knowledge that I had, because I didn’t feel as if I played too well, but overall it was good to get out there.”
“It was a great experience,” Barrett continued. “It was definitely a little overwhelming, since I have never really experience[d] [competitive golf] before… It was great to be a part of, but I was a little nervous at first. I settled down as the rounds went on, but with Taconic being my home course, I at least knew what to expect on every hole, but I wished I played a little better.”
Barrett, playing in his first competitive match since eighth grade this weekend, offered some insight on the team’s performance.
“I think, overall, the team struggled a little bit with putting,” Barrett said. “The greens were definitely tough, and running pretty fast. It was very windy, and I think directionally, a little bit, we got in some trouble. On some of the long holes, it’s hard to recover and make par when you’re not in the fairway. We definitely could’ve done a little better than we did, but overall we had a strong showing.”
He also identified what he feels the team needs to do to be successful next weekend.
“I think it comes down to being more consistent, hitting more fairways and greens,” Barrett said. “Hopefully the guys will be able to get out a few times this week and be able to hit the range and work on a few things. We’re definitely making some strides and moving forward, so we’ll see what happens next weekend.”
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) took the tournament title, with a combined score of 598 among five golfers. Skidmore College and Williams’ A squad finished tied for second, two strokes back of the leading RPI. Middlebury finished in third place, with 604 strokes. In a tight field at the top, the Cardinals finished with a combined score 708, 138 strokes better than the last place finisher, the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. James Jackson of RPI took the individual crown for the weekend, finishing Sunday at a combined 4-over par, including a 70 shot performance on Saturday.
It seems that the Redbirds have been plagued by less than ideal conditions so far this season. They played through driving rains at Middlebury last weekend, followed by strong winds last weekend. Hopefully, the team will benefit from ideal conditions for their next tournament.
The team looks to extend its season next weekend at the NESCAC qualifying tournament at Hamilton, where the top four teams will advance to play another weekend. Should the team advance, they will play for the NESCAC championship the following weekend.