Williams Wins Spring Opener
WILLIAMSTOWN, MA – The Williams Spring Invitational concluded today with a Williams College victory. Playing with perfect weather and improving course conditions, the Ephs played phenomenal team golf, shooting a final-round 293 (300-293=593) and finishing as the only team with a score under 600. This tournament marks the second victory in a row for Williams.
Trailing the Ephs closely was Middlebury College, who jumped to second place with a spectacular final-round performance (307-294=601). Hamilton College (304-305=609) and the Williams College B team (315-294=609) tied for third. Greg Palmer of Trinity College continued his outstanding play from yesterday, shooting 74 (68-74=142) in the final round to clinch the individual victory.
Leading the way for the Ephs' A team today was senior captain Dylan Dethier, who bounced back from a mediocre first round with an inspiring even-par 71 (82-71=153). Freshman Grant Raffel continued his superb and consistent play this weekend with a final-round 73 (74-73=147) and a second-place finish. Matching Raffel was junior Jake Goldenring, who contributed an amazing second-round score of 73 (75-73=148) despite playing with an illness. Rounding out the scores for the A team was senior captain Ross Bowen, who provided an impressive 76 (77-76=153).
Despite not being able to practice the week before because of bad weather, the Ephs showed how capable they are of fantastic golf. "I am really impressed with the team's effort the past two days," acknowledged Williams coach Josh Hillman. "To shoot the scores we shot with the limited amount of practice we have had was really impressive. I give all the guys a lot of credit for the efforts put forth."
This effort was also on display with Williams' B team, which shot a superb team score of 294 (315-294=609) and captured a third-place finish. Sophomore Max Elgart set the pace with a stellar final-round score of 72 (76-72=148). Sophomore Tony Liu fired a 74 (76-74=150) that concluded his weekend of great golf. Matching Liu were junior Nate McCue (83-74=157) and sophomore Michael Stone (81-74=155), both of whom bounced back incredibly well after disappointing first rounds.
The performance the B team put together was certainly an exciting part of the tournament for Hillman. "I want to acknowledge how well our 'Williams B team' played this weekend," he remarked. "It just goes to show how deep our team really is. At any point our guys can play well. That is a really nice feeling as a coach."
The level of support the team received this weekend also hit home with the program and certainly contributed to Williams' unbelievable performance. "The best part about this weekend was the amount of support we had for all 20 guys on the roster. We had parents from all over the country fly in for this weekend and the team dinner last night at Taconic. It was a really nice Easter weekend and I am very happy to see all the parents, grandparents and siblings out supporting the team."
That said, Hillman has the team focused on what lies ahead. "We have a big week in front of us," he said, referring to Little Three's on Wednesday and the NESCAC Championship at Middlebury over the weekend. The team will need to focus, as players have the opportunity to practice at Taconic Golf Club and sharpen their games.
However, the team is confident, and coming off of its second victory in a row, Williams is poised for a NESCAC title. "We have a battle in front of us at Middlebury next week but I can say we will be ready to compete," said Hillman. "We're fighters and we want to put our best foot forward."