Sept. 10, 2008
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The Bulldogs open their season this Friday, September 12 at the Gopher Invitational hosted by the University of Minnesota. This will be the first time that the Bulldogs have attended the three-day tournament.
The Bulldogs are coming off a very encouraging weekend at home, where they took part in the Bordosi Championship, an inter-squad tournament. This year's captain, senior Colby Moore, took first, followed by sophomore Thomas Mccarthy in second. But the real story of the weekend was the depth that the team showed.
"This is the most competitive team I have ever been on," said Moore. "We had five guys shoot two-day scores under 148. Realistically, any one of our 10 guys could make the travelling team."
But, this weekend's team is set. Moore will be joined by McCarthy, junior Ben Wescoe, junior Seve Gonzales and sophomore transfer student Michael Fader. Fader has had no trouble acclimating to the university or the golf team. In his first competitive round at the Yale Golf Course, a top-100 ranked course, he shot a 68.
The Gopher Invitational promises to be the most competitive tournament the Bulldogs will face this year. The event will take place at the Spring Hill Golf Club in Wayzata, Minn., an exclusive golf course that is kept well maintained. It is a par-72, 7,020-yard Tom Fazio design. Fazio has more credits in Golf Digest's list of America's 100 Greatest Golf Courses and Golfweek's collection of America's Best than any other golf course architect in history.
The field of competitors has been designed to match the quality of the course. The tournament will feature 12 schools from eight different collegiate conferences. Eight of the teams participated in 2008's NCAA Regionals. Of the eight teams, the University of Washington and the University of Texas qualified for the NCAA Championships, finishing 7th and 19th, respectively. The full list of teams is as follows:
Arkansas, Iowa, Iowa State, Louisiana State, Marquette, Pepperdine, Southern Methodist, Texas, Washington, Wisconsin and Yale
This tournament will feature not only strong caliber teams but also individual players. LSU has four players that qualified for the 2008 U.S. Amateur and the fourth-ranked recruiting class in the country according to Golfweek Magazine. Pepperdine's Andrew Putnam and Wisconsin's Dan Woltman and Dan Zimmerman all competed in the U.S. Amateur as well. Washington's top returning player, Nick Taylor, finished in a tie for second at the 2008 NCAA Championships and played in the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines as well as the 2008 Canadian Open.
But the golf course and strong field of play are not doing anything to deter the Bulldogs, according to Moore.
"This is an exciting tournament for us," said Moore. "PGA Tour players have won this tournament. We are playing really well, so this is a good way to start the season. We are looking forward to turning some heads on a national stage."
The tournament will take place over three days, starting this Friday, September 12th.
Report filed by Charles Moore '10, Yale Sports Publicity