April 14, 2012

Yale to Defend Princeton Invitational Title

Chance to Go Three-in-a-Row

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Looking to build on a fourth-place finish at the Yale Spring Opener last weekend, the Yale men's golf team will compete to defend its title at the Princeton Invitational, which takes place Apr. 14-15 at the Springdale Golf Club in Princeton, N.J.

Last year, the Bulldogs won the event by six shots, beating out Ivy League rivals Penn, who sat in second spot, and 10 other teams in the competitive field. 

"The Yale team began playing in this event three years ago and we have finished second, first and first respectively, so there is clearly something about Springdale that suits my players," said head coach Colin Sheehan '97.

The standout performer at last year's Princeton Invitational was sophomore Sam Bernstein, who powered through the two day tournament to finish at -5 overall, a score that put him out in front in first place individually.

His rounds of 68 (-3), 72 (+1) and 68 (-3) were put together with a meticulous consistency that was hard to beat, and followed a number of other strong performances earlier in the season.

Not far behind Bernstein on the leaderboard was senior captain Jeffrey Hatten, who finished at +3 overall in a tie for seventh place.

Two years ago, the Elis won the tournament in a tie-breaker against Ancient Eight rivals Harvard after both teams finished with cumulative scores of 874. For the tie-breaker, tournament officials compared the final round score of the fifth person on each tying team, giving Yale the win thanks to junior Carson Weinand's 74, which beat out the score of Harvard's Louis Amira, who shot 78.

The rest of the team is also sure to be in the hunt over the weekend, with ample practice in the lead-up to the tournament.

"We are very proud of our record at Princeton and we are humbled to have won this prestigious event the past two years," Sheehan said. "We hope it can serve as a springboard, once again, as we approach the final weeks of the season."

The Springdale Golf Club is one of the oldest in New Jersey, designed by Gerard Barnes Lambert in 1915 and nestled among the trees and buildings of Princeton University. It was later revised in 1926 by William S. Flynn, who was best known for his work on the Merion Golf Club in Merion, Pa.

"The course may be short, but it is very strategic and I know one of the reasons for our success these past three years has been our thoughtful and disciplined approach to the course," Sheehan said. "For example, there are several tricky, short par fours that are reachable from the tee, but we have chosen instead to lay-up and make birdies by hitting wedge shots close to the hole. 

Players will tee-off at 7:45 a.m. on Saturday. 

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