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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Sunday, April 14, 2024

Golf back into the swing of things in season opener

Facing a strong field, men’s golf team prepares for busy fall season.

Brandon Karr swings at the ball on the seventh fairway in the NESCAC championship qualifying tournament at Indian Hill Golf Club in Newington, Conn., on Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017.

Brandon Karr is pictured in the NESCAC championship qualifying tournament at Indian Hill Golf Club in Newington, Conn., on Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017.

The Tufts men's golf team have made their fall season debut, placing 16th out of 24 teams at the 39th annual Duke Nelson Invitational over the past weekend. Hosted by Middlebury College at the Ralph Myhre Golf Course, the Tufts golf squad faced competition from a varied field, including many NESCAC opponents. 

Senior Conor O’Holleran provided the top score from Tufts, scoring 153 across two rounds to tie for 38th place out of 122 golfers.

After the first round, Tufts was in 16th place. The highest four scores by Tufts added up to 312 strokes, 28 over par, displaying some strong individual performances and birdies. The second day of play saw improved performance from the team with just 303 strokes. Sophomore Holden Kittelberger led the team on day two with three-over 74.

Even with a stronger second round, the Jumbos did not advance on the scoreboard. The team remained in 16th place and left the tournament with a total score of 615; the winners, Babson College, came in at 577.

Reflecting on the first tournament of the season, Tufts’ men’s golf players are optimistic but not completely satisfied.

“It was a little bit of a mixed tournament, because there were no terrible takeaways and a lot of positives,” senior Jack Meehan said in an interview with the Daily. “We definitely didn’t place very high relative to a lot of the NESCAC schools, … typically, we are right up there with them.”

Meehan explained how the nature of the team’s scores affected their results at the Duke Nelson Invitational.

As a team, we didn’t have the occasional low number that would send us up the leaderboard, so we played a lot of consistent, average golf,” Meehan said.

Despite a solid foundation, Meehan and junior Sean Rone both see room for improvement as the season continues.

“We’re trying to win as a team. … We’re all really competitive,” Rone added. “As a whole I think the team played pretty well, but there were obviously some shortcomings in terms of final results that we want to build on as the season goes on.”

One final result that may have been satisfying for such a competitive team was Tufts’ triumph over 17th-place Middlebury. O’Holleran, the leading scorer for Tufts this weekend, was competing against his brother, Middlebury sophomore Brendan O’Holleran.

Practice started on the first day of class, leaving players under a week between the start of practices and the first competition on Sept. 9. This represents a big adjustment for the five newly matriculated players who have joined the roster this season.

First-year Brendan Roy made his collegiate debut, which included an eagle three on the 16th hole in the first round. His teammates praise his performance, which included two rounds below 80, as a successful transition to college golf.

With the season just beginning, the squad has plenty of upcoming opportunities to improve their record. Tufts men’s golf returns to competition on Saturday at the Williams Invitational.