The golf team commenced its short spring season this past Wednesday, April 20 at the Little Three Championships in Amherst, Mass. The team has failed to defeat Williams each year since 2006, and is 8-78-1 all-time versus the Ephs. Against Amherst, the Cardinals are 18-61-1, with the last victory also coming in 2006.
Last season’s Little Three battle resulted in an 12-0 victory for Williams over Wesleyan and a 9-3 win for Amherst against Wesleyan. Williams claimed the title with a 8.5 to 3.5 defeat of Amherst.
Led by Atreya Sinha ’16 and captain Paul Andrick ’16, the lineup chosen by head coach Jeff Gilarde to compete at Ridge Golf Club included Nolan Daley ’16, Jared Fineberg ’17, Josh Rubin ’18, Brian Gerner ’18, Colin O’Keeffe ’17, and Zach Lambros ’17. There is one female on the team, Giselle Reyes ’18, as Wesleyan does not have a women’s golf team.
Foursome match play opened the competition as teams of two alternated shots for eighteen holes.
Against Williams, Sinha and Lambros paired up against Max Elgart and Jackson Moss from Williams, where the Purple and Gold won by a score of 7 and 5. Gerner and O’Keeffe challenged Tony Liu and Ross Hoffman, and the Williams duo won easily, 8 and 7. Jacob Watt-Morse and Tyler Tsay had little trouble defeating Fineberg and Rubin, 7 and 6. The closest match of the contest came from Daley and Andrick, who fell to Jack Coyne and Mike Stone, 3&2.
In singles, Sinha grabbed the only point of the match for the Cardinals, as he ended 1 up over Coyne. Each of the other seven singles matches went to Williams, amounting to an 11-1 Eph victory.
“I had a really good individual match against Williams and Amherst at the Little Threes last week,” Sinha said. “My longer clubs were all over the place but my play within 160 yards of the flag was spot on. Thankfully, that’s the part of golf that really counts. The fact that I shot a 73 and still won by only 1 hole should tell you how competitive it was.”
The dramatic contest featured back-and-forth action, with Sinha winning the 17th and 18th holes after trailing by one with two holes remaining.
“I had a really good run on holes 7, 8, 9,” Sinha said. “I stuck the ball to within three feet of the hole on 7 and 8, and on number 9, I almost sank a 60-foot putt. That mid-game push helped me start the back nine even with Williams and 1 up on Amherst.”
The rest of the Cardinals all lost pretty handily with the closest efforts coming from Daley against Tsay, Gerner versus Elgart, and Andrick facing Coyne, who lost 3 and 2, 4 and 3, and 4 and 3, respectively. Moss defeated Rubin 7 and 5, Hoffman took down Fineberg 7 and 6, Liu beat O’Keeffe 6 and 5, and Watt-Morse beat Lambros 5 and 4.
The Cardinals fared similarly against Amherst, earning one point off of a Sinha singles victory. Sinha easily dispatched Dan Langa 4 and 3, but his teammates weren’t as successful. Daley lost a tough fight to Mateo Wiesner 2 and 1, and Andrick fell to Liam Fine by the same result. O’Keefe fell to James Line and Lambros was taken down by Jack Burlison, each by scores of 6 and 5. Patrick Arena defeated Rubin and Justin Henriksen took care of Gerner by scores of 5 and 4. Sam Procter gave Fineberg a loss by a score of 7 and 6.
Wesleyan could not muster up any wins in the foursome part of the competition. Daley and Andrick fell to Procter and Wiesner 5 and 3, while the pair of Fineberg and Rubin lost to Henriksen and Arena by a score of 4 and 2. Gerner and O’Keeffe lost by a large margin of 7 and 6 to Langa and Burlison. Sinha and Lambros struggled against Line and Fine, falling 4 and 3. Just like Williams, Amherst ended up topping Wesleyan by a final count of 11-1.
The battle for the Little Three was much closer in 2016 than the year prior, with Williams taking the 7-5 victory. None of the foursome matches were very close, with the Ephs taking a 3-1 advantage heading into singles play.
Needing four points to clinch the title, Williams got just that, and nothing more. The Ephs were crowned champions by a count of 7-5.
The Cardinals finished their short season this past weekend at the two-day Williams Invitational. The Cardinals ended seventh out of eight teams at 137 strokes over par, beating Bowdoin by seven shots. The Redbirds were 55 strokes off of the sixth place finisher, Amherst.
Trinity claimed first place by one stroke over Middlebury in exciting fashion, while Williams took third, eight shots off the Bantams pace. Jack Junge of Trinity finished first among individual competitors, shooting +3 through two rounds. The second place finisher, Philippe Morin of Middlebury was six shots back of the leader.
Sinha did not compete for the Cards, and Lambros was the team’s top finisher as he tied for 30th at +28. Andrick was not far behind in 34th place, shooting +30 and Gerner took 41st after posting a tournament score of +40. Emmet Daly ’18 and O’Keeffe finished 42nd and 44th with final scores of +46 and +52, respectively. Theo Tydingco ’18 rounded out the participants for Wesleyan, shooting a total score of +60.
The Cardinals will be back at it next fall, but it will be tough to improve and qualify for a NESCAC Championship berth without receiving any incoming talent.
“I think Wesleyan needs to actively recruit more students in order to get better,” Sinha said. “We have no freshmen on the team right now and both the number one and two are graduating this May. It looks like next season’s squad is going to be very thin.”