Golf | Tufts starts season with strong showing at Bowdoin Invitational
Published: Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, September 12, 2012 08:09
The golf team competed in its first tournament of the fall season at the Bowdoin Invitational this past weekend, finishing seventh in a 10-team field.
The tournament, won by NESCAC rival Williams College, was held a few minutes west of the Bowdoin campus at Brunswick Golf Club. Sophomore co-captain Alex Zorniger, classmate John Wawer and the freshman trio Jay Wong, Brendan Koh and Nick Dorian represented Tufts at the tournament.
Williams, last year’s second placed finisher in the NESCAC, ultimately won the tournament with a total of 606 strokes
However, the Tufts squad made impressive strides, especially considering the youthfulness of the quintet. Wong led the squad with a team-best 161-stroke performance in his first-ever collegiate tournament, tying him for 21st overall.
Meanwhile, Dorian, Wawer, Koh and Zorniger posted weekend scores of 163, 166, 169 and 174 respectively. In tournament play, the highest score of each day is thrown out, and excluding Zorniger’s 90 from day one and 84 from day two, the Jumbos finished with a total of 659 strokes, 53 strokes behind the eventual champion Ephs.
“We sent a young squad out this weekend, and for a bunch of these guys it was their first college tournament,” senior co-captain Mike McCarthy said. “While we were disappointed with a 341 on Saturday, being able to bounce back and have all five guys shoot lower on Sunday shows a lot of tenacity that we will be hoping to build on over the next few weekends.”
While the final result was not what the team was hoping for, Tufts showed plenty of promise over the weekend.
The Jumbos managed to best fellow NESCAC contender Bates by six strokes, a team they finished behind in last year’s season-opening invitational. From Saturday to Sunday, the team’s score improved by 23 strokes, inching them ahead of the Bobcats.
The explanation for the Jumbos’ dramatically different performances on Saturday and Sunday may well be a simple case of nerves.
McCarthy alluded to the team’s youth, and in its opening weekend, three of the Jumbos’ five golfers were playing at the collegiate level for the first time.
“We are still in the middle of tryouts,” McCarthy said. “We played on Thursday and Friday, and those with the best scores are who played this weekend.”
A second explanation for the massive improvement in scores between Saturday and Sunday could have been the weather conditions, which improved drastically over the course of the weekend.
“I felt like I was across the pond in Ireland for the first round, with the wind blowing the ball all over the place,” Zorniger said of the conditions at the start on Saturday.
The team will most likely take eight to ten players this season, and coach Bob Sheldon will determine who plays in the weekend tournaments based on his golfers’ performances in the days leading up to tournaments.
Next weekend, the Jumbos will attend the Duke Nelson Invitational at Ralph Myhre Golf Course in Middlebury, Vt., an event which is sure to contain more stiff competition and help the coaching staff narrow down the roster as the season gets into high gear.