May 21, 2011

Bulldogs Finish 13th at NCAA Regional

Brings to a Close Strong Season 

BLACKSBURG, Va. – The NCAA Virginia Tech Regional provided a tough ending to a successful season for the Yale men's golf team, which battled it out over three rounds at the Pete Dye-designed River Course in Blacksburg, Va., to finish in 13th place.

Qualifying for the NCAA Regional competition after clinching the Ivy League Championship last month, the Elis came into the tournament seeded 13th, a ranking they did in fact ultimately achieve on the final day's play Saturday. The day also provided thrills atop the leaderboard, when Duke made a late charge against rivals Georgia Tech, which had been leading the first two days, to take out the tournament.

While Duke closed play with an overall team score of 865 (+1) – just four strokes ahead of Georgia Tech – the Elis finished at 923 (+59), a result that reflected the difficult course faced by golfers.

Still, there were glimmers of the golfing prowess that has brought the Bulldogs their best season in some time. Led by senior captain Thomas McCarthy, in what will be his final tournament for the team, the team made every effort to show the same form it had on display in winning the Princeton Invitational and Ivy League Championship this past season.

McCarthy shot a final round 73 (+1) to finish at +5 and a tie for 17th in the tournament. Meanwhile, sophomore Bradley Kushner and junior captain-elect Jeffrey Hatten closed with a 77 (+5) apiece to finish in a tie for 57th and 63rd, respectively. Both Kushner and Hatten demonstrated throughout their rounds the same determination and persistence that resulted in their membership in the first-team All Ivy this past season, which included numerous top-10 finishes throughout.

Looking to the future, freshman Sam Bernstein, who claimed the Ivy League's Rookie of the Year Award last month, notched up a final round 78 (+6) to end play in a tie for 59th. And in his final round for the Bulldogs, senior Michael Fader fired an 84 (+12) to finish in 75th.

The tournament marks the Bulldogs' final play for the 2010-11 season, one that has included many successes. Among them were the wins at the Princeton Invitational and Ivy League Championship, and also second-place finishes at the Macdonald Cup and George Washington Invitational.

"The season was a success," Hatten said. "The Ivy league Championship is our main event and defines our season so winning it definitely turned our good season into a huge success."

Hatten added that next year, he has confidence the team can perform as successfully as they have this year, given the sustained performance of the underclassmen golfers.

Report filed by James Lu '14, Yale Sports Publicity.

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