NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale men's golf team will begin its spring season in Ventura, Calif., with a matchup against UC Santa Barbara at Olivas Links on Friday, Mar. 24. Coming off a successful fall campaign in which the Bulldogs benefitted from strong performances by experienced seniors as well as up-and-coming freshmen, the squad seeks to capture its first Ivy League Championship since 2011.
During the fall season, Yale finished third in its first three tournaments: The Doc Gimmler, Cornell Invitational and Macdonald Cup. In their fourth and final tournament the Elis placed 10th after shooting 14 over par at the AutoTrader.com Collegiate Classic in Atlanta.
Seniors Jonathan Lai and captain Li Wang will each look to finish their collegiate careers on a high note in the spring season. At the Macdonald Cup, Wang shot 10 under par during the second round of the 54-hole tournament, which tied an NCAA record and helped him earn second-place overall for the event. Lai finished third overall at the Cornell Invitational and was also one of Yale's top three finishers at the Doc Gimmler.
Freshman Eric Hall also chipped in to the team's success with some strong contributions in his first season of collegiate golf. The Harwood, Md., native led all Bulldogs with his 4 under par at the Doc Gimmler en route to placing fifth overall and finishing in Yale's top three at the AutoTrader.com Classic.
Along with Hall, fellow freshman Jordan Weitz played well early, losing by one stroke to sophomore James Nicholas in the Borsodi Student Championship and finishing 12th at the Cornell Invitational. Junior Will Bernstein also finished the season well by leading all Yale players with his one over par performance in the team's final meet of the fall.
The Elis open their spring slate with next Friday's match versus the Gauchos, an event that features a Walker Cup style 36-hole match. In the morning players from each team will compete in foursomes before one on one matches to close out the afternoon. UC Santa Barbara's season has been relatively successful thus far, as the team placed first at both the Bill Cullum Invitational and PRO Compression Invitational.
Following this match, Yale will compete in the Princeton Invitational before hosting the Yale Spring Invitational. The Bulldogs' 2016-17 season will culimate at the Ivy League Championship from April 21-23 at the Stanwich Club in Greenwich, Conn., and a possible berth in the NCAA championship.
Report filed by Joey Kamm '20, Yale Sports Publicity