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Golf | Men’s golf finishes tied for 24th over weekend

Published: Thursday, November 1, 2012

Updated: Thursday, November 1, 2012 08:11


It was an underwhelming close to the season for the Jumbos, who finished 24th at the 35-team New England Intercollegiate Golf Association (NEIGA) fall championship. The tournament was the Jumbos’ last chance this fall to finish in the top half of a tournament — a goal they had not yet accomplished — but after a promising first day, the tournament was cut short by Hurricane Sandy, making the weekend event a one-day affair.

“I started getting emails and phone calls from both the coaches and athletic directors as early as last Thursday asking me if there was any contingency plan for the championship,” NEIGA executive director Mike Serijan said. “At the time, models of Hurricane Sandy had multiple paths, so it was my plan to wait until absolutely necessary to make a decision. The only other time we made the decision to cancel Round 2 was in 1999.”

On Saturday, the forecast became more predictable, and by then Serijan knew that Monday would be unplayable. He, along with the rest of the NEIGA executive committee, officially cancelled Monday’s final round as well as the Sunday night awards banquet to ensure the safety of athletes traveling home.

The New England Intercollegiate Golf Championship (NEIGC) is different from most collegiate championships in that Div. I, II and III schools are all represented at one tournament. Taking home the Div. I title was Bryant University, which shot 316 as a team on Sunday. Div. II had co-champions in UMass Lowell and St. Anselm, each with a tournament-best of 311. UMass Dartmouth won Div. III with a score of 312.

The tournament was played on two different courses at the Captains Golf facility in Brewster, Mass., and because golfers were not able to play on each due to the storm — Div. I and II teams played on the Port course, while Tufts and other Div. III schools played the Starboard course — an individual champion could not be declared. But five players each shot a three-over-par 75 on Sunday, the low round of the day.

Tufts ended its Sunday with a 51-over-par 339, leaving it tied for 24th overall with Wentworth Institute of Technology and University of Southern Maine. Of the three NESCAC teams represented, Tufts came out on top, as Bates College and Wesleyan University finished 29th and 33th, respectively.

The low score on the day for the Jumbos came from sophomore John Wawer, whose 79 tied him for 26th overall in the field of 171 golfers. Freshmen Nick Dorian and Jay Wong each shot rounds of 85 and finished tied for 105th place. 

Rounding out the Jumbos’ scores were senior Ben Saperstein and sophomore co-captain Alex Zorniger, who both shot 90, landing them tied for 144th place.

The disappointing team result marked the end of a fall season generally marked by underperformance, as the Jumbos were consistently hampered by bad weather and inconsistency, particularly regarding their day one performances. Ironically, the tournament that was cancelled after the first day contained probably their steadiest performance of the season, as the Jumbos were constantly placed at a disadvantage by the large deficits they faced heading into the second day of tournaments.

After a challenging fall semester, the Jumbos hope that, by learning from their mistakes and gaining some experience, they will see better results in the spring. 

“Golf is a sport in which mental toughness is paramount to success,” senior co-captain Michael McCarthy said. “We didn’t perform as well as we hoped this past weekend, but we know that our ability to bounce back ... will help us this upcoming spring.”

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