WILLIAMSTOWN, MA - Despite battling wind, rain, and even a weather delay on Saturday at Taconic Golf Club, the Williams Mens' Golf Team enters Sunday tied for the lead with Trinity at the 2019 Williams Spring Invitational. Unlike most college golf events, in which teams start 5 players and count their lowest 4 scores, the Williams Spring Invitational has teams starting 6 players and counting their lowest 4 scores.
Junior Ben Beiers continued to build on some strong play last weekend at the Skidmore Invitational by firing a brilliant 3-under round of 68 amidst Saturday's difficult conditions. Beiers carded 6 birdies and a hot putter all day, which combined with strong course management and a limited number of mistakes, left Beiers with the lowest individual round of the tournament on Saturday.
Junior captain Sam Goldenring and sophomore Beau David added a crucial pair of 73's to the Ephs' day one aggregate. Despite the difficulty of making putts on the day, Goldenring and David each showcased their typically impressive ballstriking to get around the course in relatively stress-free 2-over fashion. Goldenring and David, together with Beiers, continue to demonstrate their key importance to the Ephs' success.
Senior captain Jake Foehl finished his day with a 4-over 75 to round out the scoring for the Ephs. Foehl, a Williamstown native who has played at Taconic all his life, used his comfort and knowledge of his home track to manage his way around the golf course, avoiding costly mistakes and taking opportunities where they presented themselves. Sophomore Wyatt Khosrowshahi and freshman James DeLano, making his first career start for the Ephs in an official two day event, each recorded respectable rounds of 78 as the last two starters, but happily saw their scores dropped amidst exceptionally strong play from the rest of the team. Foehl's 4-over 75 left the Ephs with a 5-over 289 first round score, tied for the lead with Trinity.
On top of the 6 guys playing in the Ephs' starting lineup, the remaining 6 players made up a strong Williams B team.
Sophomore William Conyers' solid round of 6-over 77 led the cause for the B team. Known for his always optimistic and unfazed style of play, Conyers strung together a series of pars with only a few bogeys to turn in the low round of the day for the B team.
Freshman David Brewer and sophomore Tucker Van Eck each shot 8-over 79, albeit in very different ways. Brewer struggled early, finding himself 7-over after 5 holes, before digging deep to play his remaining 13 holes in impressive 1-over fashion. Van Eck by all reports got off to a solid start before stumbling with a few bogeys coming down the stretch, but did manage to keep his round under 80 and add another decent round to the B team's day one total.
Senior captain Will Beischer, along with freshmen Thomas Van Belle and John Menton, each battled all day but struggled throughout to eventually shoot 83. Despite some solid ballstriking all around, the boys continually struggled for a spark and found things difficult at times in the day's tough conditions.
The starting lineup's day one score of 5-over 289 leaves them tied for the lead with frequent rivals, Trinity. In third, trailing the Ephs and the Bants by 8 shots are Middlebury, at 297 (+13). In a repeat of last Sunday at the Skidmore Invitational, Williams, Trinity, and Middlebury will square off in a Sunday shootout to decide who will take home the Spring Williams Invitational. The B team's Saturday aggregate of 318 (+34) leaves them in 6th place, 15 shots off 5th place Amherst, at 303 (+19).
Following his impressive Saturday play, Beiers holds a 2 shot lead in the individual event at 3-under, trailed by a trio of Bantams in the form of Trinity's Will Rosenfield at 1-under, Ricardo Paes Leme at even-par, and Taylor Kay-Green at 1-over. Goldenring and David sit in a tie for fifth at 2-over, together with Amherstht's Cameron Clark.
At the traditional Williams Spring Invitational Saturday evening team banquet, veteran team supporter Steve Goldenring left the team with the inspiring advice "Shoot for the stars, you might hit the moon". The Ephs look to ride this positive outlook to a strong Sunday performance, in the hopes of retaining their home title after victory in the 2018 Williams Fall Invitational.
The Ephs tee off from 11-11:50 tomorrow, with the B team leading off from 10-10:50.
Day One Results can be found here on Golfstat: http://results.golfstat.com//public/leaderboards/gsnav.cfm?pg=participants&tid=18072