April 25, 2009
NORTHFIELD, N.J. - The Bulldogs did not make the move they needed to on Saturday at the Ivy League Championship, failing to capitalize on a day of easy conditions, where low-scores dominated the leaderboard. Yale (583) is not down and out though, as the Bulldogsare just 12 shots back of the leaders Penn (571) in fifth place. Dartmouth (573) is in second with Columbia (574) just one shot behind. Princeton (580) is three shots ahead of the Bulldogs in fourth.
"The wind died down today and scores were lower," said junior Ben Wescoe. "There were some very impressive scores out there and we just did not make enough birdies. It just goes to show how talented and deep the Ivy League really is."
The Bulldogs came into the day in third, just seven shots behind Penn and one shot behind Columbia. Penn was unable to keep up the blistering pace set on Friday, but the Quakers' round of 286 was enough to keep them three shots ahead of the field. Columbia also had a strong day shooting eight shots better than the Bulldogs to extend their lead. The real surprise of the day, however, was Dartmouth. After shooting 293 on the first day, the Big Green came firing back on Saturday to shoot 280 and put themselves just two shots behind Penn.
"Dartmouth was a surprise," said Wescoe. "They had a very impressive round. They've been right behind us in a couple of tournaments this year and they put together a very nice round today."
The Bulldogs were led on Saturday by Wescoe, who shot an even round of 70 to move himself into a tie for seventh with four other players. Alex Abate of Darmouth, Robert Cronheim of Cornell, Greg Shuman of Harvard and Bryant Williams of Penn are all in that tie with Wescoe with total rounds of 143. Wescoe, who started on the tenth-tee, had a disappointing start to his round as he tried to lay-up on the par-five, but ended up finding water. He would go on to double bogey the hole.
"It was a mental let-down," said Wescoe. "As a team, we gave away too many strokes today. We have a lot of talent and we can go low, we just need to make smart decisions, and sink a few birdie putts."
Wescoe would get those two strokes back though with birdies on 11 and 15. He bogeyed 16 and made the turn at +1. After three pars to start the front-nine, Wescoe birdied the par-three fourth and par-five sixth. He ended the day with a bogey on the long par-four fifth to finish at -1 for the front-nine and even for the round.
Sophomore Thomas McCarthy came into the day in a tie for second individually, but could not match the magic of his first round. McCarthy shot five shots higher on Saturday, but is still in contention in a tie for fourth with Brendan Doyle and Clark Granum of Columbia. He is three shots back of the leader, Pete Williamson of Dartmouth. McCarthy's Saturday round of 72 came with two birdies, four bogeys and 12 pars, a great round by most standards, except on a day when there were nine scores of even or better on the leaderboard.
Sophomore Michael Fader remained consistent, shooting another round of +3 (73). He is currently alone in 24th with a two-round score of 148. Fader had the same numbers of bogeys and birdies as he did on Friday, with two birdies and five bogeys.
The killer for the Bulldogs was counting a round of six-over (76) on their team scorecard. Seniors Taylor Hakes and Colby Moore both shot rounds of 76 on Saturday, forcing the Bulldogs to count one of the two scores. Moore shot a birdieless round that featured four bogeys and a double bogey on the par-5 10th. Hakes managed to sink birdies on 10 and 18, but added eight bogeys to his card. Moore is in a tie for 31st with a total score of 151, while Hakes is just behind him in a tie for 33rd at 152.
"The way the course is set up right now and the way people are playing, we are not going to get any help tomorrow," said Wescoe. "We are not going to be able to rely on people playing poorly. We are going to have to go out and make birdies. But we have got the talent, and we know we can go low."
The Bulldogs will tee-off with Princeton and Harvard beginning at 8:20.
Report filed by Charles Moore '10, Yale Sports Publicity