Bulldogs Tee Off Against Crimson, Tigers

Jeffrey Hatten. (photo by DSPics.com)

Kicks off 2011-12 season 

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Opening the 2011-12 season on the heels of an Ivy League Championship victory last year, the Yale men's golf team will take on Ancient Eight rivals Harvard and Princeton at the Sebonack Golf Course in Southhampton, N.Y., on Sept. 11.

The Bulldogs will tee off with confidence, having secured last year's Ivy League Championship, with Princeton finishing in fifth place and Harvard in sixth. There is also precedent for this match: at last year's face off, the inaugural time the three teams competed in such a format at the start of the season, Yale convincingly won eight of the 10 matches of the day en route to an overall tournament victory.

Leading the way for the Elis will be senior captain Jeffrey Hatten, who closed out last year with a bang, placing fourth individually at the Ivy League Championships to make the first-team All-Ivy and cap off a season that included three straight top-10 finishes.

Joining Hatten will also be junior Bradley Kushner and sophomore Sam Bernstein, both of whom saw strong performances this past year that qualified them for the All-Ivy teams and won Bernstein the Ivy League Rookie of the Year Award. In last year's competition against the Crimson and the Tigers, both of them remained unbeaten against their Ivy League competitors.

The team will not lack for experience, thanks to juniors Russell Holmes and Carson Weinand, who both notched up consistently useful rounds for the Bulldogs last year.

Sunday's match will also be the first trial for the freshman golfers, William Davenport, who hails from Palm City, Fla., Thomas Greenhalgh, who comes to Yale from Surrey, England, and John McNiff, from Plymouth, Pa.. With their past performances at high school, these players hold great promise for the future of the Bulldogs, and will look to begin making their mark over the weekend.

"We look to using the fall season to get experience for the freshmen and develop a team cohesion that will help us in the spring," said head coach Colin Sheehan '97.

It will not be easy, however, to contend with the Sebonack Golf Course. The course, which was designed by Jack Nicklaus and Tom Doak, features panoramic views of Long Island's Great Peconic Bay even as it traps golfers with tough bunkers and waste dunes, and undulating greens that make for tough putts.

Still, with the momentum the team is carrying entering the season, the Bulldogs are positioned well to face the challenge. Among the accolades the Elis won over the summer: head coach Colin Sheehan '97 took out the Northeast Region Coach of the Year Award, former captain Thomas McCarthy '11 was named an All-America scholar and the overall team earned President's Recognition Status.

Report filed by James Lu '14, Yale Sports Publicity.

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