Wescoe Two Shots Behind Leader
SPRINGFIELD, N.J. – With round one in the bag, the Yale men's golf team is in a prime position to make a run at the Ivy League Championship title. The Bulldogs are in second place, just five shots back of rival Harvard. Yale (302) is right in the middle of a tight leaderboard, as Dartmouth (305) and Penn (305) are tied for third just three shots back of the Bulldogs.
“It is a very fair, but tough course,” said senior captain Ben Wescoe. “It is playing very long and the greens are firm and fast. It really puts a premium on your ball striking. You need to be below the hole to have a good look at birdie. The rough is also brutal. You need to stay in the fairways, otherwise it is difficult to advance the ball.”
The Bulldogs were led on Friday by Wescoe. Wescoe shot a 74 (+4), placing him in a tie for 5th, just two shots back of the tournament leader, Tony Grillo of Harvard. Wescoe managed to keep big numbers off his card throughout the day. He started off the day with a birdie at the par 4, 478-yard first. However, he quickly gave that stroke back with a bogey at the second. He would go on to make four more bogeys, before he birdied the 17th and bogeyed the par 5 18th.
“I scored well today, but I did not swing well,” said Wescoe. “I only hit two fairways and nine greens. The focus for all of us tomorrow will be keeping the ball in play and therefore having better control into the greens”
Freshman Brad Kushner came up big for the Bulldogs on day one, firing a 75 (+5) to finish the day in a tie for seventh. Unlike Wescoe, Kushner did make two double bogeys early on, but birdies on 12, 14 and 15, saved his round as he went on to close with bogey-bogey-bogey on the last three holes.
Junior Tom McCarthy, playing number two for the Bulldogs, finished the day in a tie for 11th, after shooting a round of 76 (+6). McCarthy struggled early when he double bogeyed the first hole. He followed that up with bogeys at four and six, but got one stroke back on eight before making the turn. McCarthy had a good round going at three-over heading into number 12, but four consecutive bogeys left him at seven over heading into 18. He managed to get one stroke back with a birdie at the par 5 18th and escape at six over.
Junior Brandon Marick finished the day at seven-over with a round of 77 (+7). Marick was unable to card any birdies throughout his round, but also stayed clear of any major disasters. He double bogeyed the fourth, but other than that he would finish with 12 pars and five bogeys.
Freshman Carson Weinand struggled with the course on Friday, posting a round of 85 (+15). He fired three double bogeys and nine bogeys before ending the round with a string of three pars.
“It is a tight leaderboard right now,” said Wescoe. “But, we are not too concerned. Five shots in team golf can be erased after one hole. Tomorrow is moving day and we are hoping to put ourselves in a good position heading into Sunday. We had some good practice after today's round and I think we are ready to go.”
The Bulldogs will be back out on the course Saturday with a 1 p.m. tee time. They will play alongside the team they are looking to catch, Harvard.
Report filed by Charles Moore '10, Yale Sports Publicity