Jacksonville, NC- The Williams College men's golf team officially kicked off their spring schedule today at 9:30 AM when they hit their first tee shots in the Camp Lejeune Intercollegiate Tournament. Players were bundled up on the range during their warm ups, progressively shedding layers throughout the day as the sun rose in the sky. Scoring conditions improved with the temperatures, though a moderate breeze gave the players something extra to think about as they chose their clubs.
One of the goals of the tournament when it was conceived in 1972 was to promote interaction between the college students and the military. For the first two days of the tournament, each group consists of two college players and one marine, either retired or on active duty. The three compete as a team in a best ball format while the stroke play event goes on concurrently.
Prior to the start of the tournament, the colors were raised while the marine marching band played the star spangled banner. The marines also set up a static display of several vehicles, including two LAV-25 amphibious vehicles. Players were able to talk to service members about the vehicles, learn their features and what they are used for, and also take a picture if the moment called for it. After the round, many players traveled to a simulated gun range to get a feel for some of the training exercises that the marines go through.
Amid all the added activities that go along with playing a golf tournament on a military installation, Williams did play a round of golf. The Ephs began their weekend on the Scarlet Course at Paradise Point Golf Club, a short par 70 track that presented the golf equivalent of a layup to start the season. With only three days of outside golf prior to Thursday's round, the Ephs could not have been set up better to ease into the season.
Sophomore Sam Goldenring led the way for Williams on day one, plodding his way around the course for an even par round of 70. Goldenring is known for his stress free style of golf, and today was no exception. Solid ball striking led to easy pars, and occasionally easy birdies.
Goldenring's classmate Ben Beiers also had success in his first competitive round of the spring, shooting a 73. Junior Jake Foehl came in right behind Beiers at 74, and first-year Beau David rounded out the scoring for Williams with a 79, bringing the team total to 296 for the day.
Williams will play on the Gold Course at Paradise Point tomorrow morning, which is sure to be a more rigorous test of golf. The Gold is roughly 800 yards longer, and more exposed to the wind in places due to its position closer to the water. Williams would be happy to put together another round below 300 as some of the other top schools will take aim at the Scarlet course on Saturday.