Willis Wins Individual Medal
FARMINGDALE, N.Y.—Heading into the final round of the Sept. 14-15 Doc Gimmler tournament, the Yale men's team found itself eight strokes clear atop the leaderboard and sophomore Joe Willis led the field. The Bulldogs and Willis never relinquished their leads on Sunday, as the Elis charged home to claim victory at Bethpage Red in Farmingdale, N.Y., and Willis won his first collegiate tournament.
Sunday's victory marks a strong opening to the Bulldogs' fall campaign, with Yale winning among a 14-strong field including Ivy League rivals Columbia, Harvard and Princeton. The Elis' 820 (-20) was 16 strokes ahead of the second-place Crimson, who finished at 836 (-4).
Willis, who led the field by three strokes at the end of Saturday's two rounds, was challenged by Columbia's Brandon Jowers on Sunday. He fended off the challenge with skillful stroke play through the 7,014-yard par-70 course to win the individual medal. Willis posted a 68 to finish at 199 (-11), one stroke ahead of second-place Jowers at 200 (-10).
"This was a fabulous weekend for the team. I couldn't be more thrilled for Joe and his medalist finish," said head coach Colin Sheehan '97. "He worked very hard on his game this summer so this is the fruit of that labor."
Meanwhile, freshman Jonathan Lai, representing the Bulldogs in his first collegiate tournament, shot a 70 to finish in a tie for third place with 205 (-5). Senior Sam Bernstein rose up the leaderboard with a 68 to finish in a tie for seventh at 208 (-2), while junior William Davenport was one stroke behind at 209 (-1) in a tie for 11th place. Senior Sean Gaudette carded a 69 to finish at 212 (+2), contributing to the outstanding team result.
"I also want to acknowledge freshman Jonathan Lai's five-under par finish just two weeks into his Yale career," Sheehan said.
Next up for the Elis is the Sept. 23-24 Notre Dame Invitational at the Warren Golf Course in South Bend, Ind.
Report filed by James Lu '14, Yale Sports Publicity.