April 4, 2009

Bulldogs Take Second at Yale Spring Opener

April 4, 2009

Round 1 Results | Final Results | Yale Spring Opener 

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The beautiful Yale Golf Course was not so beautiful Saturday as golfers had to fight cold weather and blistering winds en route to some high scores. The Bulldogs (610) finished second, losing to perennial rivals Harvard (595) by 15 strokes. But there were still some bright spots on an otherwise dreary day.

Freshman Jeffrey Hatten led the way for the Bulldogs, showing that the Bulldogs really have some great depth. Hatten tied with Harvard's Danny Mayer for the low-round of the day (70), but struggled in the afternoon.

"It was a good test for us," said Hatten. "I was bummed that I couldn't pull it out after shooting so well in the morning. I had a rough start to the second round and tried to salvage it as best I could. It was good to see some other guys play well this weekend and hopefully this can just be a stepping stone on our way to the ultimate goal of an Ivy League championship."

With a 70 (E) in the morning and an 81 (+11) in the afternoon, Hatten finished with a tournament score of 151 (+11) tied for seventh place.

The other stories of the day came from Yale's second team. Sophomore Michael Fader finished in a tie for third place, while senior Thomas Ginakakis, playing in his final tournament at the Yale Golf Course, managed to shoot the low-round of his career in a tournament.

"It feels great to shoot my best tournament score ever," said Ginakakis. "After not shooting a great round in the morning, I realized that this was the last tournament round of my career on this course. I decided to just go out and enjoy every moment of it. It just so happened that when I came up to the last hole, I was a birdie away from breaking my personal best."

Ginakakis would hit that birdie on the way to a 74 (+4). He finished in a tie for 16th place with at total tournament score of 155 (+15).

Fader, despite playing for Yale's second team, actually outshot all other Yale players. He carded two good rounds of 73 (+3) and 76 (+6) to lead all Yale players with a third-place finish. His final tournament score was a 149 (+9).

The Bulldogs played well in the morning, shooting 296 (+16), despite the conditions, but sat five shots behind the Crimson of Harvard. Hatten led the way for the Bulldogs with his par round of 70 (E). If not for a bogey on 18, Hatten would have shot 69 and held the lead all alone. But as it stood he finished the morning in a tie for first with Danny Mayer of Harvard. Hatten was followed closely by senior captain Colby Moore. Moore shot a round of 74 (+4), placing him in a tie for seventh-place. The rest of the Bulldogs were all in a tie for 14th. Senior Taylor Hakes, sophomore Thomas McCarthy and junior Ben Wescoe all shot rounds of 76 (+6). McCarthy struggled on the front nine with a bogey and triple bogey on holes three and four, respectively. But a birdie, birdie, par finish on the last three holes, put him right back in the thick of things.

Yale II also had a good morning, shooting a round of 310 to put them in a tie for fifth. They were led by sophomore Fader who shot a round of 73 (+3), putting himself in a tie for fifth. Sophomore Brandon Marick finished behind Fader in a tie for 19th with his round of 77 (+7). Junior Seve Gonzales was in a tie for 25th, after turning in a strong round of 79 (+9). Rounding out Yale's second team was Ginakakis and freshman Zachary Plutzik in ties for 33rd and 40th, respectively. Ginakakis shot a round of 81 (+11), while Plutzik carded an 85 (+15).

With the Bulldogs only five shots behind Harvard after the first 18 holes, it would seem they were well within striking distance. But the course proved too much for the Bulldogs in the afternoon, as they suffered an 18 point swing to shoot 314 (+34).

Wescoe led the Yale team in the afternoon with a round of 77 (+7). He finished in 12th with a score of 153 (+13). McCarthy and Hakes both finished in a tie for 13th. They each shot rounds of 78 (+8) to finish with tournament scores of 154 (+14). Moore rounded out Yale's team with a tough second round of 81 (+11). He finished in a tie for 16th with a score of 155 (+15).

Yale II had a good afternoon, shooting 308 (+28) and finishing in fifth place overall. They were led by Fader who improved his position from the morning to finish in third. Ginakakis was right behind him shooting the team's low-round of the afternoon. Rounding out the team were Gonzales, Marick and Plutzik who finished in the 21st, 33rd and 39th, respectively. Gonzales shot a score of 78 (+8), Marick shot 86 (+16) and Plutzik shot 80 (+10).

"Hats off to Harvard," said Wescoe. "They played extremely well and gave us a beating on our home course. They successfully defended their title."

The Bulldogs will be back in action next weekend at the Princeton Invitational. The two-day tournament will begin on April 11.

Report filed by Charles Moore '10, Yale Sports Publicity