March 11, 2014

Bulldogs Launch Spring Campaign

Trip South for Spring Break 

NEW HAVEN, Conn.—Buoyed by momentum from a fall in which it finished no lower than third place in a tournament, the Yale men's golf team will begin its spring campaign well prepared and hungry to find similar success. 

The Bulldogs will kick off spring competition with a swing down south over the spring break. There, the "players are really looking forward to a productive trip that includes one or more rounds of golf each day, plenty of practice and competition so they can peak for the April tournament run," said head coach Colin Sheehan '97.

Yale's itinerary includes rounds at Peachtree Golf Club in Atlanta, Berkeley Hall, Chechessee Creek Club and Old Tabby Golf Links in Okatie, S.C. The Bulldogs will then transfer to Charleston, S.C., where they will play Secession Golf Club in Beaufort, S.C., along the way and then Yeamans Hall Club, a course designed by Seth Raynor, who was involved in the design of the Yale Golf Course in New Haven, Conn.; the Yale Golf Team played the Yeamans Hall Club course in the 1920s on the day it opened.

Those rounds of practice will then be followed by rounds at the Cherokee Plantation in Yemassee, S.C. Those rounds will be followed by a day at Kiawah Island, S.C., and golfing at Palmetto Golf Club and Sage Valley Golf Club in Aiken, S.C. The golfers will then compete in the Mar. 22-23 Linger Longer Invitational, held this year at the Great Waters Course at Reynolds Plantation in Greensboro, Ga. 

Returning to the northeast, the Bulldogs will host the Apr. 5 Met Intercollegiate at the Century Country Club and Old Oaks Country Club in Purchase, N.Y. Yale clinched a three-stroke victory at last year's iteration of the tournament.

The team will then travel to the Springdale Golf Club in Princeton, N.J., to compete at the Apr. 12-13 Princeton Invitational, a tournament which the Bulldogs have won the past four years. Another tournament at which Yale has seen strong success in the past will follow the Princeton Invitational: the Apr. 19 Yale Spring Invitational, which it will host at the Yale Golf Course.

That will be the Bulldogs' final opportunity to tune up before the Apr. 25-27 Ivy League Championship, which this year will be held at the Baltusrol Golf Club in Springfield, N.J. There, the Bulldogs will look to surpass their second-place finish at last year's Ivy League Championship, which Princeton captured by just five strokes. 

Based the results of fall competition, this year's squad will certainly be in strong contention during the spring. The team is led by senior captain Sam Bernstein, who last year was voted Ivy League Player of the Year and posted three top-10 finishes in the fall. Fellow seniors Sean Gaudette and Michael Lewis-Goldman will also provide valuable guidance and leadership to the team.

They will be supported by juniors William Davenport, Thomas Greenhalgh and John McNiff. Davenport posted two top-10 finishes during the fall and will look to build on that record in the spring.

Yale's sole sophomore, Joe Willis, had a breakout fall, clinching the individual medal at The Doc Gimmler and carding several other strong results. The Bulldogs' depth continues with four talented freshmen: Jonathan Lai, Nick McNiff, James Park and Li Wang.

Together, the team will look to repeat the success it saw in the fall: it won The Doc Gimmler and the Ivy League Match Play, finished second at the Macdonald Cup and finished third at the Fighting Irish Gridiron Golf Classic.

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