The Numbers Game: Ian Kelsey '18's 222 overall score

by Vikram Bodas | 5/1/16 5:53pm

Each week The Numbers Game will break-down one Dartmouth sport’s statistic.

This week’s number: 222 — Ian Kelsey ’18’s overall score at the Ivy League golf championship

The 2016 Dartmouth men’s golf season will be defined by the fact that the team came up big when it mattered most. After an extraordinarily successful fall campaign, highlighted by a first place finish at the Quechee Club Collegiate Challenge, head coach Richard Parker and his group got off to a bit of a slow start in the spring. After a 15th place finish in the Cabarrus Irish Creek Intercollegiate, the team knew it had to turn things around fast. In its next tournament, the Yale Invitational, the team got back on track, finishing second out of 13 teams in this perennially competitive tournament. Then in the biggest tournament of the year, the Ivy Championship, the team beat expectations by finishing second. The impetus for this impressive finish at the final tournament of the year was sophomore Ian Kelsey ’18. The Deerfield, Illinois native averaged a 73 for the season and scored his low round of the year with a 67 at the Fighting Irish Gridiron Classic. For his solid play throughout 2015-16 Kelsey was recently named to the First Team All-Ivy team.

Kelsey fired rounds of 72, 77 and 73 for a total of 222 in the Ivy Championship to finish second in the entire field and just one stroke behind Cornell University’s Luke Grayboyes. The sophomore’s finish is even more impressive when you consider the fact that the field consisted of the 40 best golfers in the Ivy League.

If we take a deeper look into Kelsey’s result it becomes clear that his weekend really got rolling on the back nine of round one of the tournament. After a one over front side, Kelsey made three birdies in a five-hole stretch to help get things going in the right direction. Kelsey took this momentum and carried it through the three-day tournament.

If we look at the top scores for Dartmouth golfers in the last five Ivy Championships, Kelly’s three-day aggregate score ranks well. Scott Jaster ’17 led the way for the Big Green the last two years, carding a 228 and 222, respectively, in 2015 and 2014. James Pleat ’13 scored a 218 in 2013, while probably the greatest golfer in Dartmouth school history, Peter Williamson ’12 tallied totals of 213 and 223 in 2012 and 2013. Both marks were the top individual scores at their respective tournaments. Kelsey’s finish stacks up favorably when compared to other Dartmouth standouts through the years. His performance stands out, however, when you consider that he had to win a playoff against his fellow teammate in the days leading up to the event to even have a chance to compete in the Ivy Championship. This fact is a testament to Kelsey’s resilience and also an indication of how deep this iteration of Dartmouth men’s golf really was.

It should not go without note that Kelsey was able to corral one of the harder courses in the area. While the 6,908-yard layout of Metedeconk National Golf Club may not sound too daunting, its tight fairways, firm greens and tight approach shots make it an extremely difficult test even for a player of the Kelsey’s caliber.

Looking ahead to next year, the team will be returning eight players featuring: Jaster, Jeff Lang ’17 and Kelsey among others. That being said, the team will be hard pressed to replace the experience of the soon-to-graduate Charles Cai ’16 and Dylan Rusk ’16. Hopefully for Rich Parker, who just capped off his 10th season as The Bill Johnson Head Coach of Men’s Golf, Kelsey, along with the rest of the group, will be able to keep the momentum they gained at the end of the spring season and carry it into the fall.