April 10, 2008

Yale Heads to Rhode Island for New England Championship

April 10, 2008

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A year ago, the New England championship in Providence, R.I., would have been a big chance for the men's golf team to get into the NCAA regionals. This year, however, since the NCAA changed the rules and went to a system that awards at-large bids based on national rankings as opposed to district rankings, the New Englands will serve more as a warm-up event for next week's Ivy championship, when the Bulldogs could claim an automatic NCAA bid.

"You will not see a lot of big New England schools this weekend," said coach David Paterson. "They head south to try to improve their national ranking."

While big names such as Boston College, UConn and Rhode Island are out of the picture, the lone team to finish ahead of the Bulldogs in last year's weather-shortened tournament -- Sacred Heart -- is back. Ivy rivals Brown, Dartmouth and Harvard are part of the 13-team field as well.

The tournament will be held at Triggs Memorial, a Donald Ross-designed course. It is a public course, which typically can mean tougher conditions for the players.

After last week's putting difficulties, Paterson thinks the team will recover, and he is confident the Bulldogs will do well.

"Taylor Hakes will be back in the lineup after playing as an individual last week," said Paterson. "Taylor played well last weekend. We just sat him the wrong week."

The tournament will be played over two days starting this Saturday.

Report filed by Charles Moore `10, Yale Sports Publicity