SOUTH HADLEY, MA - In their last regular season event of the year, Little 3's, hosted this year by Amherst at The Ledges Golf Club in South Hadley, Mass, the Ephs finished tied with Amherst by a score of 6-6 to share the title, marking the first time in the event's history it has ended in a tie.
The Little 3's Championship features the classic trio of Williams, Amherst, and Wesleyan, in which members from each team compete against each other in morning team matches followed by afternoon singles matches. The morning matches are played in an alternate shot format, in which a two-man team from Williams squares off against a two-man team from Amherst, while simultaneously playing a match against a two-man team from Wesleyan. Needless to say, the teams from Amherst and Wesleyan also play a match. In the afternoon, the same simultaneous matches take place, except between individuals from each school. All matches, including morning alternate shot and afternoon singles, are worth a single point each.
The Ephs' demonstrated tremendous team chemistry to take a 3-1 and a 3.5-0.5 lead over Amherst and Wesleyan, respectively, after morning alternate shot. The Ephs' alternate shot teams featured a number of interesting pairings, including senior captain Will Beischer and freshman David Brewer playing #4, fellow sophomores Wyatt Khosrowshahi and William Conyers playing #3, senior captain Jake Foehl and junior Ben Beiers at #2, and junior captain Sam Goldenring and sophomore Beau David at #1.
Brewer and Beischer got the team off to a great start, winning both their matches before even reaching the final hole. The pair jelled well with their shared impressive length off the tee giving them an advantage over their opponents, which served them well en route to their morning triumphs.
Despite a number of bright spots, even moments of brilliance, the sophomore team of Conyers-Khosrowshahi could never quite get their foot on the gas, eventually losing out to Amherst and halving Wesleyan, to share a half point.
Foehl and Beiers, a team with loads of experience playing together in the past between Schultz Cup's and prior Little 3 tournaments, found success as they have so often in the past, winning both matches. The consistently solid play of both individuals and their common ability to limit mistakes allowed them to wear down their opponents and eventually find the winners' circle.
To no one's great surprise, Goldenring and David put another pair of points on the board for the Ephs. The pair's always-superb ballstriking proved too much for their opponents, as they put the final touches on a pair of solid leads going into afternoon play.
The Ephs' lineup in the afternoon singles matches:
The Ephs got off to a slow start in the afternoon, with the first five Ephs off (positions 3-8) experiencing eventual defeat in their Amherst matches following some impressive play from the Mammoths. Beischer, Khosrowshahi, and Foehl all fought back from considerable deficits to force their matches to the 18th, only to have their hearts broken in the final moment. On the par-5 18th, Foehl and Khosrowshahi each saw eagle putts graze the hole but refuse to fall, bringing them to their knees in a scene reminiscent of Tiger Woods at The Barclays in 2013 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qIgw7BuwniQ).
This 0-5 dry run of matches for the Ephs left them trailing 6-3 to Amherst, with 6.5 being the magical number to clinch the championship. This left the remaining Ephs in the precarious position of being unable to forfeit another half point to the Mammoths.
Unaware of these circumstances, the trio of Goldenring, David, and Beiers put in brilliant performances as they have done so many times in the past to carry the Ephs to an eventual 6-6 tie and a share of the title. Goldenring blitzed his Amherst and Wesleyan opponents, making 7 birdies in only 14 holes to end both matches by the 15th. Beiers bored his opponents to death, making 15 straight pars to win the match then and there. As Coach Hillman always says, "Boring golf is great golf". David, despite not having his best stuff, managed to keep the ball in front of him and grind holes out to eventually win his Amherst match on 17. The Ephs won all their afternoon matches vs Wesleyan.
The 6-6 deadlock means that for the first time the Ephs and Mammoths will share the title for the first time ever, with both teams hoping they can reclaim the championship come next year.
This event marks senior captain Will Beischer's final competitive event as an Eph, capping off an excellent career.
While the team's season is over, senior captain Jake Foehl, junior captain Sam Goldenring, and sophomore Beau David will travel to Middlebury this weekend for the NESCAC Spring Championships at the Ralph Myhre Golf Course. This event will be Foehl's Williams swansong. Foehl, a two-year captain, will be sorely missed by the men's golf program.