April 12, 2009
PRINCETON, N.J. - As Tiger and Phil attempted a Sunday charge at Augusta, the Yale men's golf team completed a charge of their own. The Bulldogs started off the day 11 shots behind Rutgers, but only seven shots back of defending Ivy League champions Columbia. The Bulldogs (605) shot the lowest team round on Sunday to make up the gap and more as Columbia (613), Harvard (619), Princeton (618) and Penn (610) fell apart. Rutgers went on to win the tournament with a score of 596.
"It was very tough conditions - yesterday with the rain and wind all day; and today with even stronger winds," said sophomore Thomas McCarthy. "It was good to see the team have a pretty good round today to catapult us up the leaderboard and overtake all the other Ivies. Taylor had an awesome round today, and was very impressive in the tough conditions."
"We handled the rain and wind very well," said junior Ben Wescoe. "I think we went out trying to enjoy the challenge of playing under tough conditions. Our past tournament experiences and UK trip have turned us into all-weather players that enjoy the challenge of fierce weather."
The Bulldogs' Sunday charge was led by senior Taylor Hakes, who posted the only score under par of the entire tournament. After shooting a 76 (+5) on Saturday, Hakes came storming back to shoot 70 (-1) and finish in second place, just one shot behind the winner James Arbes (145) of Rutgers. Hakes final tournament score was 146 (+4).
"It was awesome to see Taylor play so well" said Wescoe. "He has been swinging well this Spring so it was really no surprise to see him put up some good numbers. He had a really solid second round in very tough conditions."
Hakes got help from a strong supporting cast led by McCarthy. McCarthy, along Wescoe and freshman Jeffrey Hatten all duplicated their scores from Saturday. McCarthy finished in a tie for eighth after shooting two rounds of 75 (+4) for a total of 150 (+8). Wescoe finished just two shots behind McCarthy with his rounds of 76 (+5). He finished alone in 16th with a total score of 152 (+10). Hatten, after leading the Bulldogs in last weekend's Yale Spring Opener, struggled a bit at Princeton shooting two rounds of 79 (+8), but still had his Sunday round count for the team score. He finished in a tie for 38th with a total of 158 (16). Sophomore Michael Fader was the final Bulldog player and after shooting a strong 78 (+7) on Saturday, he struggled on Sunday, posting a round of 86 (+15).
The big news for the Bulldogs this weekend was the defeat of five Ivy League opponents: Columbia, Cornell, Harvard, Princeton and Penn.
"It was exciting to play with most of the Ivy League teams," said Wescoe. "We usually don't see the other teams until Ivy League Championship. This Spring season gives us great inter-league competition and a great build up to the Ivy League Championship."
With only one tournament left before the Ivy League Championship, the Bulldogs are in a good position to reclaim the crown for the first time since 2003.
"We are very close to pulling things together completely" said McCarthy. "There are only a few holes a round that seem to hold us back from shooting par or better each time, and I only envision us getting more consistent throughout the round each week. It should make for us peaking right at Ivies. I am excited to see what we can do."
The final tournament for the Bulldogs will be the Caves Valley Spring Intercollegiate. The two-day tournament begins April 18.
Report filed by Charles Moore '10, Yale Sports Publicity