October 4, 2008

Bulldogs in the Hunt after 36 Holes at the Macdonald Cup

Oct. 4, 2008

Macdonald Cup (Day 1) 

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - After a long day and 36 holes of golf, the Bulldogs are right in the thick of things at the Macdonald Cup. The Bulldogs currently sit in third place with a two-round score of 575 (+15). Oklahoma leads the tournament with a score of 571 (+11), followed closely by Sacred Heart with a score of 572 (+12).

The Bulldogs started off Saturday morning playing good golf, but the competition played great golf. Almost all of the Bulldogs scores were in the low 70s. Sophomore Michael Fader shot the low round for the Bulldogs at 71 (+1). He was trailed closely by senior captain Colby Moore and sophomore Thomas McCarthy, who shot rounds of 72 (+2) and 73 (+3), respectively. Junior Ben Wescoe and senior Taylor Hakes rounded out the team with scores of 77 (+7).

Sacred Heart shot a team score of 280 (E) in the morning, putting them at even par for the tournament. They were followed closely by Oklahoma with a score of 283 (+3). Oklahoma was led by Riley Pumphrey, who shot a morning round of 65 which included a double bogey on his second to last hole. The Bulldogs shot a first round of 293 (+13) putting them in a distant fifth, three shots behind rivals Harvard.

It was a different story in the afternoon, however, as the Bulldogs came storming back. Led by rounds of 68 (-2) from both Moore and McCarthy, the Bulldogs made up nine shots on the competition and are poised to take over the tournament on Sunday.

"I hung around early in the second round," said McCarthy. "I did not hit my irons very well, but as long as you keep the driver in play and down the middle, you are going to give yourself some opportunities. I hit a 50 foot putt on the fourth which really got my momentum going, and I just tried to ride it out for as long as I could."

McCarthy, who currently sits tied for seventh place, and Moore, who is in a tie for third place, were not the only Bulldogs to improve, however. Wescoe shaved five shots off his first round score to post a two-over 72 in the second round and put him in a tied for 29th. Hakes shot a 74 (+4) improving his score by three, and putting him in a tied for 40th. Fader rounded out the five-person team with a second round score of 74 (+4). Fader is currently tied for fifteenth.

"I got word of Tom and Colby shooting low, when I was in the middle of my round," said Wescoe. "It definitely inspired me to play even better. I'm really proud of what they did."

The Bulldogs also entered a second team in the tournament, who held their own against the other schools' first teams. After the first round, they were in ninth place just six shots behind Yale's first team. They slipped a little in the second round to 13th with a score of 615. They were led by freshman Jeffrey Cartin Hatten who shot rounds of 73 (+3) and 77 (+7), placing him in a tie for 32nd. Junior Seve Gonzales trailed him with a two-round score of 151 (+11), putting him in a tie for 40th with Hakes. Sophomore Brandon Marick and freshman Zach Plutzik each shot opening rounds of 75 and finished the day with rounds of 82 and 87, respectively. Marick is in a tie for 62nd, while Plutzik is tied for 71st. Senior Thomas Ginakakis rounded out Yale's second team with a two-round score of 164, placing him in 73rd.

The tournament is currently led by Erik Downs of Flagler who shot rounds of 67 (-3) and 69 (-1). Right behind him is Jason Thresher of Bryant with rounds of 71 (+1) and 68 (-2). There are four players in a tie for 3rd, with two-round scores of 140 (E): Moore of Yale, Pumphrey of Oklahoma, Liam Logan of Oklahoma and Alex Daley of Bryant.

"We are only four shots behind Oklahoma after being down 13 earlier in the day," said McCarthy. "Making up four shots is very doable in a college tournament. There are going to be tough pin locations tomorrow, which will favor us and our knowledge of the course. If we play well, we can catch them."

The third round will tee off Sunday morning at 7:30 a.m. The leaders will be the last to tee off and teams will play in groups of four. Hakes will lead things off for Yale at 8:20 from the first tee. He will be followed by Wescoe at 8:30, Fader at 8:40, McCarthy at 8:50 and Moore at 9:00. Yale will be playing alongside Bryant, Sacred Heart and Oklahoma.

Report filed by Charles Moore `10, Yale Sports Publicity