Bantams Seek First Title Since 2010
HADLEY, Mass. - Four teams will look to capture a conference crown at the 2013 NESCAC Golf Championship this weekend at Shuttle Meadow Country Club in Kensington, Conn. Host Trinity will welcome Williams, Hamilton and two-time defending champion Middlebury to the two-day championship. Teams will tee off at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, April 27 and Sunday, April 28.
The Bantams earned the right to host the spring championship after clinching a 15-stroke victory in the NESCAC championship qualifier, held September 29-30 at Hickory Ridge Golf Club in Amherst, Mass. Trinity held just a two shot advantage after day one, but the Bantams shaved 16 strokes off their first round score and fired a 288 on day two to pull away from the field. All five Trinity golfers received All-NESCAC honors. The Bantams won their only NESCAC crown in 2010 at Taconic Golf Club in Williamstown, Mass.
At the fall qualifier, sophomore Greg Palmer paced Trinity with a two-day total of 147 (+3) and was named NESCAC Player of the Year. Classmates Nick Buenaventura and William Burchill both tied for second just one stroke behind Palmer en route to being named to the All-NESCAC First Team. Sophomore Don Hunt and senior Jack Palley, the 2011 NESCAC Player of the Year, tied for seventh place at 152 and earned All-NESCAC Second Team honors. At Williams' Spring Invitational, Palmer once again led Trinity with a score of 157 (+13), good for fourth place overall. Buenaventura was just behind in a tie for eighth place (160), and Palley was the Bantams' other top finisher in a tie for 14th place with 164.
Williams will look for its eleventh conference championship this weekend, and its first since 2008. The Ephs carded a 300 on day two of the fall qualifier to secure a spot in the spring championship. Williams (307) trailed Hamilton (306) for second place by a single stroke after day one, but leapfrogged the Continentals with their performance on Sunday. Juniors Ross Bowen and Dylan Dethier led the Ephs with a two-day total of 152 (+8), good for seventh place. Sophomore Jake Goldenring and junior Matt McCarron finished one stroke behind in a tie for 11th place. All four golfers earned All-NESCAC Second Team awards. The Ephs fielded a split squad and took the top two spots at their Spring Invitational. Dethier paced the "A" squad with a two-day total of 154 (+12), good for second place overall. Goldenring and first-year Max Eigart each fired a 158 to finish tied for fifth place. Junior Jake Abrahams shot a 160 and tied for eighth, and McCarron tied for 10th just one stroke back.
Hamilton finished third in the fall qualifier with a total of 611 to clinch its second consecutive trip to the spring championship. The Continentals have won three conference titles, the most recent in 2003. In the fall, sophomore Mac Pivirotto fired a two-day total of 151 (+7), good for All-NESCAC First Team honors. Pivirotto was joined on the all-conference team by junior Greg Scott and first year Matt Yung, who each carded a 153 (T-11th place) and earned Second Team recognition. Yung also took home the NESCAC Rookie of the Year award for his 11th place finish. At Williams, Yung shot a 156 (+14) and came in third to lead Hamilton to a third place finish. Scott finished seventh with a score of 159 and Pivirotto took 16th with a 165. Junior Brandon DeGraff was the Continentals' other top finisher (T-20th) this past weekend at Williams.
Two-time defending champion Middlebury earned a spot in the spring championship with a two-day total of 613 at the fall qualifier. The Panthers have won five NESCAC crowns overall, including three of the last four. In 2012, Middlebury followed a 309 on day one with a 317 on day two to clinch an 8-stroke victory over Williams at the spring championship. At this season's fall qualifier, senior William Prince paced the Panthers with a 148 (+4), good for a share of second place and a spot on the First Team. Junior Chris Atwood tied for 16th place with a 154 as Middlebury shaved 15 strokes off its day one total to post a 299 on day two. Middlebury took fifth place at Williams' Spring Invitational, led by junior Rob Donahoe, who tied for 10th place with a score of 161 (+19). Sophomore Eric Laorr carded a 166, junior Andrew Emerson shot a 167 and Prince and junior Max Alley each turned in a 169 for the Panthers.
Founded by a group of local industrialists in 1917, the Shuttle Meadow Country Club is located less than 15 miles southwest of downtown Hartford in Kensington, Conn. The 18-hole course was designed by Willie Park, Jr., a two-time British Open Champion (1887, 1889) and renowned Scottish architect with over 170 designs to his credit throughout Europe, Canada, and the United States. The course puts shot accuracy at a premium, featuring relatively flat fairways with greens that are undulating and fast. The scorecard for the course, which has a rating of 70.4 and a slope rating of 122, is a par-71 that totals 6,260 yards.
Results for the NESCAC Golf Championship will be available at the completion of each day at www.nescac.com.