Blistering Final Round Makes it Two-In-A-Row
NEW HAVEN, Conn. — The Yale men's golf team entered the Sept. 29-30 Macdonald Cup seeking to become the first team to win the tournament two years running. They made that goal a reality by putting on a powerful display Sunday, charging up to leaderboard to take home the tournament by three strokes.
"I could not be more thrilled for the team on their come-from-behind win," said Head Coach Colin Sheehan '97.
Tied for third place after the first round of play Saturday, the Bulldogs knew they were well positioned to climb the leaderboard at their home course, The Course at Yale in New Haven, Conn.
And climb they did, finishing up at 564, three strokes clear of Hartford and St. John's, which tied for second place at 567. The Elis turned in a result that put them substantially ahead of Ivy League rivals Harvard, Columbia and Brown, which finished in fifth, 11th and 13th, respectively.
"The team played great this weekend," said senior captain Bradley Kushner. "I am so proud of everyone of them for hanging in there and grinding it out."
It took an all-round team performance on the blistering final day to pull the Bulldogs into the lead. At the helm were Kushner and sophomore William Davenport, who played consistent and opportunistic golf across the day to finish at 139, in a tie for second place individually. They were just one stroke behind individual medalist Niall Platt, from nationally ranked Notre Dame.
"Will's performance was great this weekend," Kushner said. "He is an extremely talented player and there are so many great things to come from him in the future."
"Today, I knew that the course would play tough, being much longer and with tricky pins, but the boys were prepared for what was to come," Kushner said. "We stayed patient and plodded along waiting for good things to come our way and not forcing the issue."
In putting together such a performance, the Elis won their second-straight Macdonald Cup and their third title in four years. Last year they won by five strokes and Bernstein and Kushner finished in second and fourth place, respectively. In the year that the Bulldogs did not claim the Macdonald Cup — 2010 — the team finished in second place.
"With three wins in four years, this brings the team's head-to-head record in the event to 49-1. That's rather dominant during a four year stretch," Sheehan said. "A key contributor to each of those teams has been the captain, Brad Kushner. His bogey-free 69 today was enormously clutch during challenging final-round conditions."
Next up for the Bulldogs will be the Oct. 13-14 Big Five tournament, held at the Philmont Country Club in Huntingdon Valley, Pa.
Report filed by James Lu '14, Yale Sports Publicity.