Amherst, MA - The Williams College men's golf team sent eight of their finest players to Amherst, Massachusetts today in the hopes of defending their Little Three Championship title at the par-72 Hickory Ridge Golf Club. The Ephs successfully defeated fellow Little Three members Wesleyan University and Amherst College to bring home their fourth Little Three title in a row.
"The Little Three championship is a very special tournament to us and we are very happy to have edged out Amherst again this year," said Eph head coach Josh Hillman. "All the guys played well and battled down the stretch. Amherst is a very good team and they gave us a nice run, however once again our depth as a team helped us out."
"Two standouts today were Jackson Moss and Tyler Tsay," added Hillman. "They both won two matches for us. Very impressive for just their first showing in the Little 3 championship."
The Little Three Championship is a unique event for all team's competing, and not just because the athletes are excused from class to play 36 holes of golf. Little Three's follows a format that is similar to a Ryder Cup. The teams play alternate shot matches in the morning, break for lunch, and continue with singles match play in the afternoon. Each match won gains a point for the victorious team. Since there are three teams competing, everybody plays two simultaneous matches to make sure everyone competes against everyone else.
The Ephs dominated the morning session, scoring four points against Wesleyan and three points against Amherst in alternate shot. The format presented a challenge for head coach Josh Hillman, who ultimately put together pairings that proved successful, as evidenced by the duo of junior Ross Hoffman and senior Tong Liu. The style of golf played by each individual molded together beautifully, as each golfer tends to keep the ball in play with only narrow misses. This chemistry allowed them to win their matches against Amherst and Wesleyan 4&2 and 8&7 respectively. Other big winners from the morning round were senior Max Elgart and sophomore Jackson Moss, who only needed thirteen holes to defeat both of the competing pairings.
The Ephs started the afternoon with a 4-0 edge over Wesleyan and a 3-1 lead over Amherst and would maintain both advantages through the singles matches in the afternoon. The Ephs won seven of their eight matches against Wesleyan, defeating them by a final score of 11-1. Hoffman, Liu, and Moss led the charge again, with none of their matches ever reaching the fourteenth hole. Elgart, freshman Tyler Tsay, sophomore Jack Coyne, and junior Jacob Watt-Morse each added one to their team's point total by securing their individual matches with their Wesleyan counterparts.
The singles matches with Amherst proved to be a bit more challenging for the Ephs, who ultimately split points in singles 4-4. All eight matches came down to the wire. Hoffman and Liu both lost their matches with just two holes to play, and Elgart was defeated by Amherst's Justin Henriksen on the final hole. Tsay likewise closed out his match on the sixteenth hole to go along with three other matches won on the fifteenth by Moss, Coyne, and senior Michael Stone. In the end, the two point lead gained from the alternate shot matches proved to be the difference in sealing the championship for the Ephs.
Williams will now turn their attention to the spring Williams Invitational, the Ephs' final tournament of the year. They will look to defend their home course when play begins on Saturday.