NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The Ivy League championships may still be seven months away, but the Yale Bulldogs' quest to top last year's second-place finish and become Ivy League champions begins this Sunday at Sebonack golf course in Southampton, N.Y., as they take on Harvard and Princeton in a newly-scheduled and much-anticipated showdown between the three Ancient Eight rivals.
The one-day, three-team tournament will mark the Bulldogs' first competition of the year, and captain Thomas McCarthy's first match as the Eli captain. McCarthy, the reigning Ivy League Player of the Year, is joined by Michael Fader and Brandon Marick (19th overall in Ivy League Championships last season) in the class of 2011, a class which hopes to lead the Bulldogs to the top of the Ivy League in their final year in New Haven.
Helping them to do that will be a strong core of returners in other classes, including juniors Jeffrey Hatten and Zachary Plutzik. Sophomore Bradley Kushner will look to follow up a stellar freshman year, one in which he broke the top 10 four times in nine tournaments. Fellow sophomore Carson Weinand will also be an integral part of Yale's squad, having turned in a solid freshman season that included a second-place finish at Yale's Spring Opener. Russell Holmes appeared in five tournaments last year, shooting a low round of 71.
Making this year's Bulldog squad all the more formidable will be the incorporation of a strong freshman class, brought in by head coach Colin Sheehan '97. Sam Bernstein (New York, N.Y.) burst on to the collegiate scene last week when he became the first freshman in the 25-year history of Yale's F.A. Borsodi Student Championships to win the event. He edged Kushner, sinking a clutch putt in near-darkness on the 18th hole to take the victory, demonstrating a poise coach Sheehan will certainly need out of his freshman if he hopes to lead Yale to the top of the Ivy League standings.
Also looking to make an immediate impact will be Bernstein's fellow freshmen Sean Gaudette (South Hadley, Mass.) and Michael Lewis-Goldman (New York, N.Y.), who should post many low scores in the years to come.
Their first shot at Ivy League competition will come this Sunday, Sept. 12, as Yale takes on Harvard and Princeton at Sebonack. The tournament marks the first time in recent memory that the three teams have faced off in such a format, and though the Bulldogs were the only one of the three teams to crack the Ivy League's top three last season, the matchup will undoubtedly be an exciting start to the season for Coach Sheehan's squad.
The Elis will take to the course Sunday for the one-day, one-round tournament as they begin their one-month, five-tournament fall schedule.
Report filed by Chelsea Janes '12, Yale Sports Publicity.