Middlebury, VT- The 34th installment of the Duke Nelson Invitational concluded today with some ridiculously good scoring on a day that invited birdies and rewarded the players who could make the most putts. The par-71 Ralph Myhre Golf Course was again vulnerable to the field of 22 teams as temperatures climbed into the 80s and even the slightest breeze was rarely felt.
Babson College put together a team score of 283, one-under par, to more than make up for the two shot deficit they faced after the first round. Babson finished with a two day total of 572, which was just good enough for a one shot victory over Western New England University, who posted the lowest team score of the weekend on Sunday, a 282. Trinity College finished in third with a score of 577, then came the Williams College Ephs at 582, and rounding out the top five teams was Tufts University with a score of 595.
Williams held a two shot lead entering Sunday after posting a 287 on Saturday, however the Ephs failed to keep their scores near par on day two, which was required on a day when scoring conditions were prime.
Senior captain Grant Raffel was the low man for the Ephs during his second round, posting a 72 that backed up his 71 from Saturday and was enough for a top five individual finish with a score of 143 (T-3). Raffel's round exemplifies the type of day it was for Williams. As a team, they could not finish off birdie attempts. Raffel birdied the first hole, a straightforward par-5 that is reachable in two shots, and made all pars after that except for a double-bogey on the tricky par-3 seventh hole.
Two other Ephs finished in the top 20 individually, junior captain Jake Foehl and sophomore Sam Goldenring, who carded scores of 73 and 74 on Sunday for a two day total of 146, good for a T-17 finish. Both players likewise had only one birdie on their card.
Sophomore Will Kannegieser struggled a bit on Sunday, but hung in there to shoot 76 for a score of 147, which placed him in a tie for 21st. Kannegieser also made just one birdie, and not until the 16th hole. His classmate Ben Beiers posted another round of 77 to round out the scoring for the Ephs. Beiers also had just one birdie.
One of the biggest bright spots for the Ephs on the weekend was the play of freshman Beau David, who made the trip as an individual and entered the second round in a tie for the tournament lead. David dropped a few shots during his second round, however he still managed to post 75 which left him in a tie for 12th. David went through an interesting four hole stretch on holes 10-13, making birdies on 10, 12, and 13 but surrendering two shots on the difficult par-5 11th. Nonetheless, his scores were a fantastic start to his collegiate career.
Williams will now look forward to a hard week of practice in preparation for the Williams Invitational next weekend, where they will square off with many of the same teams.