Women Third, Men Tenth In Fall Golf Tourneys
Issue   |   Wed, 09/19/2012 - 01:09

WOMEN

This past weekend, the women’s golf team began their 2012 campaign at the NYU Invitational.

The Lady Jeffs are coming off one of the most successful seasons in program history, a year which saw them earn two victories and finish no worse than third in all other tournaments.

Although they lost an exceptionally talented senior class, the team has welcomed five new members onto the squad.

Their depth will take a hit, but with a group of reliable veterans leading the way, this team has the potential to build on last year’s success.

After two weeks of dedicated practice, the NYU Invitational was Amherst’s first opportunity to play competitively this season. A little rust would have been understandable, but instead, the Jeffs started with a bang.

With a cumulative Saturday score of 313, Amherst was in second place and one stroke back of Williams after one round.

Unfortunately, the Jeffs could not continue their momentum into day two, shooting 328 on Sunday, but still managed to fight their way to a respectable third place finish.

The team was only one stroke shy of Middlebury for second place, a rough spot to end up, but certainly had a lot to be proud of.

For the weekend, the Lady Jeffs were paced by senior captain Liz Monty.

In her three years at Amherst, Monty has been one of the most consistent golfers on the team. She earned a first-place finish at the Massachusetts State Championship as a first-year and shot the lowest team score in four of the final five tournaments the following year.

She earned multiple runner-up finishes as a junior and will look to continue building on that success this season.

Following that trend, Monty did not miss a beat in starting this season, shooting a solid day-one 78. She followed that up with a blistering two-over-par 74 to finish in second place for the tournament, only one stroke behind Shelby Shote of Williams.
Finishing ninth overall, Sooji Choi ’14 posted a solid two-day score of 159.

In fact, with her first round score of 74, Choi was in a tie for first place among all competitors after Saturday’s play. She did fall behind with a second round 85, but put together an impressive tournament all in all.

Behind Choi, first-year Devyn Gardner got her collegiate career off to a roaring start. Shooting a two-day total of 163, she put together the sixth lowest first round score, before cooling off and settling for 16th place. Senior Irene Hickey also played well, shooting a 169 for the weekend that put her in a tie for 28th place.

Overall, the weekend was certainly a success for the Lady Jeffs. Both Monty and Choi stepped up to fill any void left by graduated seniors, and the team got a glimpse at the future with the strong performance from Gardner.

Amherst has a week to practice before teeing off at the Mount Holyoke Invitational in their second tournament of the fall. They now have a good idea of where they stand with respect to their competition. With their early-season jitters out of the way, they will certainly be looking to shoot even lower and are set to move up in the standings.

MEN

After finishing in seventh place at the Trinity Invitational to begin their season, the men’s team returned to the course a week later hoping to improve their fortunes. The Jeffs traveled to Middlebury for the Duke Nelson Invitational, where they battled gusty winds to play the 6,315 yard, par 71 course.

A week earlier, at Trinity, the Jeffs were led by junior standout Nicolas Koh, who finished tied for sixth place overall, but they were without both him and senior captain Ben Johnston this weekend.

However, the Jeffs pride themselves on their depth and would rely heavily on that strength this tournament.

Playing one senior, two sophomores and a first-year, the Jeffs managed to place a respectable 10th out of 25 teams, playing good golf against tough competition. The team put together a solid score of 313 on Saturday to jump into sixth place, before falling off the pace on Sunday, shooting a final round 325. Even with the drop off, Amherst was only six strokes out of seventh place and had to be proud of the way they hung tough without two of their best players.

In their absence though, the underclassmen certainly showed their mettle. In fact, the Jeffs’ charge was led by a sophomore and a first-year. Jarvis Sill ’15 and James Line ’16 tied for the Amherst low score for the tournament, shooting two-day totals of 159, but doing so in vastly different ways.

Sill was a model of consistency, following up a day-one 79 with an 80 on Sunday. His impressive performance was not so unexpected, as Sill was solid throughout last season. He finished among Amherst’s top three scorers on multiple occasions and looks strong to begin this year.

Much more surprising was the outstanding performance turned in by the first-year, Line. In contrast to his teammate, his weekend was wildly unpredictable, as he shot a two-over 73 on day-one but followed it with an 86 on Sunday.

Although he did give back a handful of shots, his Saturday score remarkably put him in a tie for third place at that point. Along with Sill, Line finished tied for 35th place at the end of the weekend.

Only one stroke behind their two teammates, Alex Butensky ’13 and Josh Moser ’15 put together impressive performances of their own.

Both followed Sill’s example of consistency. Butensky shot matching scores of 80 on both days, while Moser shaved two strokes off his day-one score by going 81-79.

They finished tied for 43rd, rounding out Amherst’s scoring for the weekend.

Without the usual firepower at the top of their lineup, this was a solid result for the Jeffs.

It was a great sign to see sophomores build on last year’s success and just as nice to see the veteran leadership from Butensky. Most notably though, the team has to be proud of their newest member, Line, who put together two impressive rounds and looks to have a lot of potential.

With this scrappy performance, Amherst certainly proved that they have the depth to compete with anyone.

The challenge now is to play at this level every week, pairing these solid rounds with good scores from Koh and Johnston. With that kind of potential, this team can certainly take big strides this season.

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