Men's golf loses steam on unfamiliar course, finishes ninth

by Priya Krishna | 10/6/09 10:00pm

The Dartmouth men's golf team was unable to build its momentum following its win last weekend. The Big Green finished ninth at the MacDonald Cup held at Yale this weekend.

Yale took first place, shooting a two-over-par 842, and Iowa State University took second, with a five-over-par 845.

Dartmouth scored an 871, shooting 31 over par.

Last year's Ivy League Player of the Year Pete Williamson '12 finished in fifth place individually with a score of 210, par for the course.

"Williamson is our number-one player," Davis Mullany '11 said. "He played very well, as he normally does. Shooting even par for the whole tournament is pretty impressive."

The MacDonald Cup, one of the biggest tournaments of the season, consists of playing 54 holes in just two days on a course that Golf Magazine ranks as the 71st most difficult course in the world.

Williamson said that the team went into the tournament with a lot of conviction after its win last weekend at the Dartmouth Invitational.

"The Dartmouth Invitational proved to us that we could win a gold," he said. "It gave us a lot of confidence going into the [MacDonald Cup]."

The team did not, howevr, perform as well as it could have at the tournament, Williamson said.

"It was a frustrating ending because we were doing well, and then we stumbled to the finish," he said.

Dartmouth shot a 293 in the first round, followed by a 286 and 292 the second and third rounds, respectively.

James Pleat '13, who placed first individually at the Dartmouth Invitational last week, said that the difficulty of the course made it especially hard to maintain a low score.

"It's acclaimed as one of the best college courses in the country, but it's tricky," he said. "It's all on the green, and many of us weren't able to read the green very well."

Mullany also said that playing on the road was a big reason for the disparity between the team's performance at the Dartmouth Invitational and the MacDonald Cup.

"Being unfamiliar with the course makes it difficult," he said. "The greens were a lot quicker than ours, and they were tough to get used to ... it got us off to a bad start."

The team has a week's rest before back-to-back tournaments in Cape Cod and Brewster, Mass.

Williamson said that the team needs to use the time off to improve its technique before the next tournament.

"[We need to work on] figuring out our swings," he said. "If we can find something we're all confident with, that's when we play our best. Whenever there's uncertainty, we struggle with scoring."

The team needs to have a more coherent five-man team, Pleat said.

"We have four guys who do well on a daily basis," he said. "We just need a fifth guy, and we all need to play consistently ... Anybody could become that fifth guy and come through for us."

Williamson said that the team's chemistry should help in its preparation for the next two tournaments.

"As long as we can go out as a team and work off each other, we can help each other out in practice," he said. "I hope that I can go out there and give some people confidence in what they are doing. We're all there for each other."

The team's next tournament, the Ivy Match Play, is a brand new invitational, pitting the Ivy League schools against one other. The Big Green will take on Harvard in the first round of the match-play tournament.

Mullany said he is confident that the team will do well at the Ivy Match Play and the New England Championship.

"We have a lot of depth in comparison to other years," he said. "We [used to have] two or three guys that were good, now we have four or five. If we can get those guys playing well together, then I think we can be really competitive. I don't see many teams out there that can beat us."