Last weekend, the men’s golf team traveled to Wesleyan to compete in the NESCAC Championship Qualifier tournament.
The Jeffs were looking to build on their success last year when they placed third, earning a spot in the spring NESCAC Championship for the first time in team history.
The Jeffs started out the weekend quite strong, putting themselves in great position to qualify for the spring championship.
Their opening-day 301 was the third-lowest score, giving the Jeffs a two-shot lead over Middlebury and a three-shot cushion over Hamilton and Colby.
The lead was not to last, however. Both Middlebury and Hamilton fielded strong teams and Amherst was unable to fend off their Sunday charges.
The Panthers shot a day-two 291, while the Continentals were on their heels with a 296, leaving the Jeffs’ and their closing round 311 far behind. With their fifth-place finish, Amherst fell one spot short of qualifying for the NESCAC championship.
There was a silver lining for the Jeffs, however. In addition to the team results, individual play actually carries extra weight at the Championship Qualifier, as the top 10 finishers earn All-NESCAC honors.
This year, Amherst’s individual hopes rested on the shoulders of Nicholas Koh ’14, who finished in 11th place last year, one stroke shy of earning Second-Team honors.
This season, Koh has been on a tear, setting career-low scores each of the last two weekends. Those impressive performances would pale, however, in comparison to the show Koh put on at the Championship Qualifier.
He began his weekend by resetting his career-low round, once again, with a one-under 71 on Saturday, the first time in his collegiate career that he has gone under par.
His impressive opening round put him into a three-way tie for second place, in prime position to earn conference honors. With eight players all within four strokes of him, it made for an intense final round.
To his credit though, Koh did not blink, putting together a solid 73 on Sunday to finish in sole possession of third place and wrapping up All-NESCAC Conference First-Team honors.
Overall, while the Jeffs’ fifth-place finish does come as a disappointment, the team can take solace in Koh’s great performance. The rest of the team will hope to build off his momentum as they look to finish off their fall season in style against Williams next weekend.