HARTFORD, CT - Despite a late push on Sunday, the Ephs were unable to chase down eventual champions Trinity.
Having won the fall qualifying tournament, the Bantams had earned the home field advantage for the spring NESCAC Championships, hosting the tournament at their home course, Indian Hill Country Club. With the Bantams coming off a strong season thus far and hosting the tournament, it always appeared an uphill battle for the Ephs but nevertheless a winnable one. Having left themselves 11 shots behind the lead after Saturday, the Ephs could not quite vault themselves to the top of the leaderboard, despite some strong play on Sunday. Having left themselves just two shots back of Saturday leaders Amherst going into the final round, the Bantams played well enough to close out the event, firing a strong Sunday score of 291 to win with a two-day score of 594. The Ephs finished the tournament in third place, with a Sunday score of 297 and a final score of 608.
The Ephs' Sunday push was highlighted by a 1-under 71 from sophomore Sam Goldenring. Goldenring played solid golf all day before heating up midway through the back nine with birdies on 13 and 14. Goldenring proceeded to drive the green on the reachable par 4 16th, the only player in the field to do so on the day, which led to a near eagle and yet another birdie. A bogey on the downhill par 3 17th stymied Goldenring slightly, but he was able to get in the clubhouse with an excellent subpar round, leaving him in solo third on the individual leaderboard.
Fellow sophomore Ben Beiers also greatly aided the Ephs' charge with a 1-over par 73. Beiers demonstrated great control and steady play all day, rarely leaving himself out of position. Making the turn at +2, a birdie at 10 got Beiers back to +1, which he was able to take all the way to the house.
A 76 from freshman Beau David and a 77 from sophomore Will Kannegieser rounded out the scoring for the Ephs. David plodded along for the early part of his round, making mostly pars and bogeys on his front nine and early on the back. However, David caught a spark midway through the back nine with birdies on 13 and 14, in similar fashion to Goldenring. However, David stumbled slightly coming in with bogeys on the last couple holes, capping off his solid round of 76. Kannegieser made the turn at a couple over but was hindered by a tough double bogey at the par 4 13th. Unfazed the big hitting alpine skiier bounced back brilliantly with a pair of birdies at the 14th and 15th, continuing the trend of strong play midway through the back nine for the Ephs. Kannegieser was unlucky to drop a couple more shots coming down the stretch as his approach on the par 3 17th found a creek over the green, leading to another double bogey followed by a par on the par 5 18th, leaving Kannegieser signing for a 77.
Junior Jake Foehl added a 78, highlighted by a couple solid birdies on the par 4 6th and the par 5 14th, making Foehl the fourth Eph golfer to birdie 14 on the day. A double bogey at the par 4 15th slowed Foehl's momentum, but he was able to finish off with a solid round of 78.
The Ephs look forward to a spring and summer filled with playing and practice before teeing it up again in the fall.