Top Four Finishers at Fall Qualifier Will Compete for NESCAC Title in April
HADLEY, Mass. – Amherst College will play host to the NESCAC Fall Championship Qualifier at Hickory Ridge Golf Club in Amherst, Mass. this weekend. The two-day, 36-hole event includes defending NESCAC champion Middlebury College, which earned its fourth conference title in six years last spring.
The highest finisher earns the right to host the spring championship round at its home course along with the remaining top three teams from the qualifier. Action gets underway on Saturday, September 29 around 10:30 a.m. and wraps up on Sunday, September 30.
Middlebury will look to win the fall qualifier and host the spring championship, as it has done in 2008 and 2010. The Panthers, looking to make it three in a row for the first time since Williams College won consecutive league titles from 2000-02, return three All-NESCAC selections from last year's squad. Senior William Prince (New Canaan, Conn.), a First Team selection, and juniors Chris Atwood (Rochester, N.H.) and Rob Donahue (Canton, Mass.), who earned Second Team honors as sophomores, look to continue their successes from a year ago.
Prince was tied for sixth with a score of 78 after day one at last year's championship before shaving off four strokes for a 74 (+3) on day two. He carded a final score of 152 (+10) to give the Panthers a two-day total of 626. In their three tournaments this fall, the Panthers have earned a third place finish at St. Lawrence's one-day event (303) to go with a third place showing at their own Duke Nelson Invitational (618) and a second place finish at the Williams Purple Valley Invitational (599).
A year ago, Williams won the fall qualifier with a two-day score of 586. The Ephs took home their second qualifier in three years en route to hosting the 2012 NESCAC Golf Championship at Taconic Golf Club in Williamstown, Mass. This season, Williams has won two of its three tournaments, with titles at Bowdoin (606) and its own invitational (584), to go with a fourth place finish at the Duke Nelson Invitational (619).
The Ephs return all five of their All-Conference golfers. Included in that group is sophomore Jake Goldenring (Florham Park, N.J.), who carded a 146 (+2) to set the tone for his team at last fall's qualifier. He was joined on the First Team by juniors Dylan Dethier (Williamstown, Mass.) and Matt McCarron (Portland, Ore.). Meanwhile, juniors Ross Bowen (Winnetka, Ill.) and Cody Semmelrock (Pomfret Center, Conn.) were named to the Second Team. Bowen tied with Trinity College's Alex Bermingham for second place last spring, with a two-day total of 156 (+14). In the process, he helped the Ephs to a second place finish with a team total of 634.
Trinity, which posted a third place score of 645 at last year's championship, will look to win the fall qualifier for the first time since 2007. The Bantams have put together three top five finishes in their tournaments this fall, including a first place showing at their own invitational (446), a 27-hole, rain-shortened event. Trinity also turned in a fifth place performance at the Duke Nelson Invitational (620) and a fourth place finish (603) at Williams. The Bantams, who won the 2010 NESCAC Championship, return NESCAC Rookie of the Year Nick Buenaventura (Weston, Mass.) and NESCAC Player of the Year Jack Palley (Pelham, Mass.) to their lineup.
Looking for a top four finish for the second consecutive year will be Hamilton College. The Continentals recorded a score of 656 to finish fourth at last year's championship. They also finished fourth (600) at the fall qualifier. Junior Greg Scott (New Haven, Vt.) was an All-NESCAC First Team performer last year, while junior Carter White (Thorton, N.H.) was named to the Second Team.
Also vying to finish in the top four will be host Amherst, which held third place in last year's qualifier after the opening round before dropping to fifth to narrowly miss out on the championship. The Lord Jeffs have three top ten finishes this fall, including seventh place at the Trinity Invitational, 10th place at the Duke Nelson Invitational and eighth place at the Williams Invitational.
Other All-NESCAC performers in this year's field include junior Nicholas Koh (Singapore) from Amherst and senior Taggie Martin (New Canaan, Conn.) from Colby College. Both players earned spots on the First Team last season.
Hickory Ridge Golf Club offers both its members and the public an exceptional club experience. The Cornish/Robinson designed course is both immaculate and challenging Cornish/Robinson, and the facility also features a spectacular clubhouse.
Results for the NESCAC Golf Championship Qualifier will be available at the completion of each day on the NESCAC website.
2012 NESCAC Golf Championship Qualifier
at Hickory Ridge Golf Club – Amherst, Mass.
Day One - Saturday, September 29
Wave 1 - Amherst, Hamilton, Middlebury - 10:30 a.m.
Wave 2 - Bowdoin, Colby, Tufts - 11:10 a.m.
Wave 3 - Bates, Trinity, Wesleyan, Williams - 11:50 a.m.
Day Two - Sunday, September 30
Wave 1 - Three teams with Highest Cumulative Score from Day One - 10:30 a.m.
Wave 2 - Next three teams with Highest Cumulative Score from Day One - 11:10 a.m.
Wave 3 - Remaining four teams with Lowest Cumulative Score from Day One – 11:50 a.m.