Men’s Golf Swings to 2nd in NESCAC Opener

By Colin McIntyre

The Middlebury golf teams traveled for their penultimate regular season tournaments, April 19 and 20, where the women took fifth place in the Jack Leaman Championship hosted by Amherst, and the men were the runners-up at the Williams Spring NESCAC Opener.

The weather played a major role in both the men’s and women’s tournaments. Last Tuesday’s snowstorm prevented a full week of practice for both teams. Additionally, Taconic golf club amended three holes for the men’s tournament, using temporary greens with buckets for cups.

At Amherst, the women shot 331 on Saturday and 324 on Sunday to finish in fifth place overall. Ithaca College and Williams both finished the weekend atop the team leaderboard with a score of 644. Merrimack College (649) and Amherst (650) were third and fourth, respectively. The Panthers were able to improve against NYU and Cortland, two teams that bested them last weekend in Poughkeepsie, NY, finishing 14 strokes clear of NYU and 23 strokes ahead of Cortland.

Jordan Glatt ’15 was again Middlebury’s low-scoring player for the weekend, birdieing three of the last five holes to card an 81 on Saturday, and shooting a 79 on day two for a weekend score of 160, tied for sixth in the field. She finished eleven strokes behind the leader Georgiana Salant of Williams, who won the event by a comfortable four strokes.

Monica Chow ’16 also had a strong weekend, firing off two consecutive rounds of 81 and finishing tied for 14th. Theodora Yoch ’17 finished tied for 16th one stroke behind Chow after shooting 84 and 79 over the weekend.

Rounding out the competing Panthers were capitan Caroline Kenter ’14 (89-85) and Michelle Peng ’15 (85-89) who both finished tied for 36th.

Kenter was quick to praise her teammates performance this weekend.

“My game isn’t where I wanted it to be this spring, but my teammates have really picked up the slack,” said Kenter. “[Theodora Yoch ’17] has played really well over the last two weeks. It’s exciting to see a freshman with so much skill and potential.”

Next week, April 26 and 27, the women will wrap up regular season play by traveling to Williams for the final tournament before a potential NCAA appearance.

“As a team, we have ‘team goals’ for every tournament which all five of us try to achieve,” said Yoch. “Next weekend will be our last tournament for the season. Ideally, all of us will play our best, which will let us end things on a good note.”

The men’s golf team was in action on the Taconic Golf Club Championship Course in Williamstown, Mass over the weekend. On Saturday, Middlebury shot a combined 307, but for the second weekend in a row dropped 13 strokes off the team total on Sunday to move up to second place behind Williams College. Middlebury was in third place after day one and within striking distance of the Ephs, but the Williams golfers also improved on Sunday to shoot 293 – one better than the Panthers – and extend their lead to eight strokes. The Williams ‘B’ team matched Middlebury’s day two total to move into a tie for third with Hamilton.

“We have always been a second day team for some seasons,” said co-Captain Rob Donahoe ’14. “I don’t necessarily change things after day one, but just tweak a couple things and try to play smarter. Knowing the course so well for this weekend should help us to be prepared to shoot a low first round because there won’t be any surprises.”

Individually, Greg Palmer of Trinity ran away with the weekend’s tournament with an even-par 142, five strokes ahead of the second-place men. Donahoe returned to the top spot on the team with rounds of 76 and 72, giving him a weekend score of six over par, and a tie for fourth place. Charlie Garcia ’15 notched his second consecutive top ten finish with rounds of 77 and 76.

Eric Laorr ’15 and co-Captain Max Alley ’14 both shot consecutive rounds of 77 and tied for 14th place. Fitz Bowen ’17 shot 81 on day one, but managed to take advantage of day two with a score of 74 to move up to one shot behind Laorr and Alley into a tie for 17th. John Louie ’15 recovered from an uncharacteristic 87 on Saturday with a one-over 72 on Sunday to finish alone in 26th place.

Next weekend, the men’s team will host Trinity, Amherst and Williams for the NESCAC championships at the Ralph Myhre Golf Course. The opening round will be played on Friday, April 25, with the conference champion being crowned after Saturday’s second round.

The winning team will represent the conference at the Division III national championship in North Carolina. Middlebury will look to secure a spot in the NCAA tournament for the second time in three years, having won the conference crown in 2012.

“We’ll all be more familiar with the course and that much more comfortable out there so I expect the team to come out hot on day one and put ourselves in a better position for the final round,” said Alley.