Newington, CT- The Williams College men's golf team put together a team score of 304 on day one at the Fall NESCAC Qualifier, their highest team total of the season but played under the worst conditions that they have faced making it a good score. The 6,513 yard par-72 Indian Hill Golf Club was playing a few shots harder in cold and windy weather, though the host Trinity Bantams seemed to not feel it, shooting a 299 that gave them a firm hold on first place.
This event, though it cannot determine a NESCAC Champion, will have tremendous influence on the Championship Tournament in the spring. Not only is the field in the spring restricted to the top four teams from the fall, the winner of the fall tournament earns the right to host the Championship.
Tufts University had three players score in the 70s to put them in a great position heading into Sunday's final round at 314. The Jumbos have not qualified for the spring tournament in several years, however they played the entire fall like a team that would be competitive in the NESCAC. The next three teams are separated by three shots: Hamilton at 321, Amherst at 322, and Middlebury at 324.
Three Trinity players sit within the top five on the scoreboard after impressive rounds in the less than ideal conditions. Nate Choukas and Cameron Chottiner, who is making his first start of the year, both finished with rounds of 74 (T-2). Senior Kole Kelly and junior Taylor Kay-Green kept the score dispersion low for the Bantams by carding rounds of 75 and 76 respectively. Will Rosenfield, Trinity's number one player and last week's medalist at the Williams Invitational, struggled a bit during his round, eventually signing for a 77 and happily seeing it dropped.
Williams is within striking distance heading into Sunday mostly thanks to the effort of sophomore Will Kannegieser, who put together an even-par round when the Ephs needed it most. Kannegieser didn't play perfect golf, as it was hard to get around the course today without making any mistakes. What he did well was minimize his errors to bogeys at worse, and he was able to roll in four birdies to make up for those rare mistakes. Kannegieser will tee off tomorrow with a two shot lead.
Junior Jake Foehl came in with 79 on the day.
Considering the conditions, the Ephs were happy to put up five scores under 80, as they and Trinity were the only two teams to do so on Saturday.
Williams will tee off in the final wave of teams tomorrow alongside Trinity, Tufts, and Hamilton with times starting at 11:50.