Three Shots Back in Prime Position
SPRINGFIELD, N.J. – The Bulldogs are just three shots back in what may be one of the tightest leader boards of all time. Six of the Eight Ivy League teams have a legitimate shot at the title tomorrow, and it is anyone's championship to take. Yale (599) is just three shots back of leader Columbia (596) and one shot back of Penn (598). Not far behind are Harvard (600) in fourth, Cornell (603) in fifth and Dartmouth (605) in sixth.
“We are very excited right now,” said senior captain Ben Wescoe. “We are right where we need to be. I'm very proud of the team. We have hung in there and really fought to put ourselves in a good position heading into Sunday.”
Much of the credit belongs to Wescoe and his partner in crime, junior Tom McCarthy. The two have been the leaders of the team all year and are showing it out at Baltusrol. Wescoe is currently in fourth place, after shooting a round of 72 (+2) on Saturday. He is six over for the tournament and five shots back of leader Scott Williams of Penn. Just one stroke behind Wescoe is McCarthy in a tie for fifth with Clark Granum of Columbia and Peter Williamson of Dartmouth. McCarthy shot a 71 (+1) to bring himself to seven over on the tournament.
Wescoe had a solid day from start to finish. He had three bogeys in the first seven holes but then played the remaining 11 holes in one under par. He birdied the par 5 18th to finish the round at two over. McCarthy had an even quieter day than Wescoe, with just two bogeys, one birdie and 15 pars.
“I was able to stay in the fairway a bit more today and have a few more looks at birdie,” said Wescoe. “It wasn't as windy today and the course firmed up a bit. The greens were fast and firm, though. I had a lot of tough approach shots that were difficult to hold on the green. You definitely had to be below the hole to have a good shot.”
Junior Brandon Marick also had a strong day for the Bulldogs and the best comeback of the day. Marick finished the day in a tie for 14th with four other players. He shot a 74 (+4) on Saturday and is currently 11 over on the tournament. He opened the day with bogeys at the first and sixth holes. He then triple bogeyed the seventh and bogeyed the ninth to make the turn at six over. But Marick played the back nine in two under with birdies at 15 and 18 to end his round at just four over.
The Bulldogs freshmen matched each other stroke-for-stroke, both shooting rounds of 80 (+10). Freshman Brad Kushner shot a round of 80 (+10), gaining five strokes from his 75 (+5) on Friday. On the other hand, Freshman Carson Weinand shot 80 (+10) after shooting 85 (+15) on Friday. Kushner is currently in a tie for 24th, while Weinand is tied for 38th. Kushner opened the day with a double bogey at the first and bogeys at the second and third. He then closed the front nine with a trio of bogeys and made the turn at seven over. He would fire four more bogeys before making birdie at 18 to close out his round at 10 over. Weinand also started off the day on a bad note with a triple bogey at the first. He would go on to make seven more bogeys and 10 pars to also finish at 10 over.
“The forecast tomorrow looks nasty,” said Wescoe. “It is going to be a dogfight and a classic finish to a great year. The Ivy League has really shown that we are a very strong golf conference. Tomorrow it will be all about ball striking with the nasty weather. Whoever keeps it in the fairway and makes the most putts is going to win this. But, it has just been a great tournament and Baltusrol has been a fabulous host.”
The Bulldogs will tee off Sunday in the final pairing with Penn and Columbia beginning at 12:10 p.m.
Report filed by Charles Moore '10, Yale Sports Publicity