May 21, 2004
New Haven, CT - Led by a 73 from junior Andrew Vitt (Winnetka, IL), No. 25 Yale shot a 302 on the second day of the NCAA East Regional at The Course at Yale Friday. That marked a nine-stroke improvement over the previous day. With a 613 overall, the Elis sit in 25th place. No. 19 Penn State leads with a 575, 15 over par, followed by No. 1 Florida (576) and No. 10 North Carolina (577). Wake Forest's Bill Haas had the top individual score (137), followed by Camilo Villegas of Florida (138).
Ironically, Vitt's day began with a double-bogey on the first hole. Freshman Mark Matza (Southbury, CT), Yale's leader from the first round, got a birdie on that hole to start strong. Vitt gained momentum with a birdie on three.
"I started with a double-bogey on one, but after I birdied three I got more confidence," he noted.
Three Elis birdied on four -- Matza, junior Steve Gray (Lee's Summit, MO) and junior Jason Shin (Bethesda, MD). Gray added another on the par-three five, and by the time Yale finished the front nine Gray (+1), Shin (+2) and Vitt (+2) were neck-and-neck for the top spot. A birdie by Vitt on 12 left him just one over par, and double-bogeys by Gray (on 13 and 16) and Shin (11) on the back nine left Vitt in the lead for Yale. His 73 represented a six-stroke improvement over the previous round.
"I just hit the ball in play," Vitt explained. "I never put myself in terrible situations like I did yesterday. On this course, if you miss the wrong way it's a bogey at best."
Gray's 75 was a five-stroke improvement over the previous round. Sophomore Rick Reissman (Suffern, NY) shot an 81, while Matza shot a 77 and Shin finished at 77.
Sitting in 25th place, and with only 10 teams advancing to the the NCAA Championship June 1-4 at The Homestead in Hot Springs, Va., the Bulldogs will use the third and final round as a chance to show even further improvement. The teams have been re-seeded to determine tee times on Saturday. Yale tees off on the tenth hole, starting with Reissman (12:36), then Shin (12:45), Gray (12:54), Matza (1:03) and Vitt (1:12). The Bulldogs are once again paired with Army and LIU-Brooklyn.
report by Sam Rubin '95 (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale Sports Publicity Department