Bulldogs Set to Host Yale Spring Opener

April 4, 2009

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - After a disappointing finish to the Geico Invitational over spring break, the Bulldogs are looking to bounce back on their home course at the Yale Spring Opener. The one-day tournament will feature 36 holes and 10 teams on April 4.

While the Bulldogs do not usually play one-day events, because of the Gopher Invitational in the fall, the Bulldogs were forced into an odd number of tournament days for the spring.

"Because the Minnesota event was three days, we only had five tournament days on the spring calendar," said head coach Colin Sheehan `97. "But there's a certain challenge to one-day 36 holes that I find intriguing. It is part sprint, part endurance test. The course and weather are traditionally rather raw for this event, but it's equal for everyone. The team that wins is the team that outlasts the others."

In the past the Bulldogs' home tournament has featured huge 20-team fields. But this year will be a smaller affair.

"In order to make it 36 holes, we've reduced the field to 50 players," said Sheehan. "This event should have a certain intimacy to it, versus the enormous, 20-team fields we've had in the past."

The Bulldogs will be playing host to eight other schools, as well as fielding two teams of their own. The visiting schools will be Canisius, Dartmouth, Fordham, Hartford, Harvard, Niagara, Skidmore and Trinity.

The tournament will be played on the Yale Golf Course. The course was designed by Charles Blair Macdonald in collaboration with Seth Raynor and Charles Banks. It was opened in 1926, and is today recognized as one of the finest examples of early American golf course design with large deeply bunkered greens and narrow rolling fairways. The course has been the site of every significant state championship, two USGA Junior National events, the 1991 and 2004 NCAA Eastern Regional championships and both the men's and women's ECAC Championships. It has been voted the No. 1 College Golf Course in America and No. 45 of the Top 100 Classical Golf Courses in America. In 1988, it was ranked by Golf Magazine as 71st among the 100 most difficult courses in the world.

The Bulldogs are coming off a disappointing final round at the Geico Invitational. After finishing in second after 36 holes, the Bulldogs could not hold on in the final round and ended up dropping into fifth place. Senior Taylor Hakes led the Bulldogs at the Geico with a tournament score of 227 (+11). He finished in a tie for 10th place. Sophomore Thomas McCarthy was the only other Bulldog to finish in the top 20. He finished in a tie for 14th with a score of 228 (+12).

While the Bulldogs' play will certainly be intimidating to their opponents, they will have the added help of Handsome Dan, who will make an appearance courtesy of Chris Getman '64. The event will begin Saturday morning.

Report filed by Charles Moore '10, Yale Sports Publicity