Golf Teams Wrap up an Impressive Fall Season
Issue   |   Fri, 10/21/2011 - 18:02
Photo Courtesy of Michelle Morgan
Co-captain Elaine Lin ’11 (156) earned third-place in the Wellesley Invitational.

With two impressive weeks of golf, the women’s golf team put the finishing touches on what has been a remarkably successful fall season. The Lady Jeffs earned third place out of eleven teams at the Williams Fall Classic two weeks ago and followed up that performance by placing second in the year-end event, the Wellesley Invitational, this past weekend.

Their success was not without precedent, given that Amherst’s program has blossomed into a national title contender in the past few years. Nevertheless it was a surprising run during a season that was supposed to be about building an identity without its three top players from last year. In addition to the graduation of a three-time All-American, two juniors are studying abroad, altogether making the Jeffs’ success this fall all the more impressive.

In Williamstown for the Fall Classic, Amherst got off to a blistering start. Led by senior Laura Monty, who carded a team-low 83, the Lady Jeffs’ day-one total of 337 trailed only the hometown team. But with Middlebury only one shot behind and Vassar six back, there was little room for error on Amherst’s part. In the end, the Jeffs were not able to hold off Middlebury’s Sunday charge, as the Panthers’ final round 327 easily moved them into second place. On the other hand, Amherst was able to edge out Vassar, as the Jeffs’ day-two 354 was good enough for a four-stroke margin over the closing Brewers.

Co-captain Elaine Lin ’12 was key in preserving the Jeffs’ top-three finish, as she backed up a day-one 84 with a final round score of 85 to record a team-low 169 for the weekend. Monty finished right on her tail with a two-day total of 170, while Sooji Choi ’14 came in with a 172, putting up impressive back-to-back 86’s.

Looking to build upon their success at Williams, the Lady Jeffs competed at Wellesley the following weekend. Amherst again quickly got out of gates and shot the second lowest day-one score, a 334 that put the team six strokes behind Williams and 10 ahead of Vassar.

Learning from their experience the previous week, the Jeffs did not allow a team to leap-frog them this Sunday, keeping Vassar at arm’s length with a day-two 341 that wrapped up a second-place overall finish.

Among numerous impressive individual performances, Lin again put together two outstanding rounds, pacing Amherst’s scoring. She carded a six-over 78 on Saturday to jump into third place after round one play. Her hold in the top three was precarious, however, as two players trailed her by only one stroke.

Yet, in the face of such pressure, Lin stepped up her game, carding another impressive 78 to pull away from her competitors and earn individual third-place honors for the tournament. Putting together another impressive week in her own right, Choi finished second among the Lady Jeffs, shooting a two-day total of 162 to finish in seventh place overall.

The Lady Jeffs’ success these past two weekends wraps up a season that saw the team earn top-three finishes in each of their four tournaments.

The team should have even better prospects for the spring, however, as they looked forward to the return of Irene Hickey ’13 and Liz Monty ’13 from studying abroad. With those additions and an offseason of hard work, the Lady Jeffs should be primed to compete for a national championship.


The men’s golf team capped off their fall season at the Mountain-Valley Cup Challenge last weekend. Competing against Williams at the Taconic Golf Club, the tournament was a fun and unique way to finish the year, as it featured a match play format rather than the usual stroke play. Instead of aiming for the lowest total team strokes, players and pairs face off against opponents to win individual holes. Following two rounds of play, the team with more head-to-head victories is the overall champion. There are many forms of match play, and, at this event, the format featured singles, scramble, four-ball and foursome.

The Jeffs began the weekend on fire, earning three out of five possible points in the foursome format. The freshman tandem of Josh Moser and Jarvis Sill earned an impressive victory (two and one), while Alex Butensky ’13 and Nicholas Koh ’14 teamed up to win a second point by the same score. Amherst’s veteran pairing of captain Nate Belkin ’12 and Mark Colp ’12 rounded out the Jeffs’ victories with a 1-up win.

Williams was quick to respond, however, as they dominated Saturday’s back nine, which featured a four-ball format. The Ephs’ charge earned them four out of five points, giving Williams a slight edge going into Sunday’s competition. Moser and Sill eked out Amherst’s lone victory in the format, a one-up triumph that kept the Jeffs within striking distance.

Amherst remained close through the first half of Sunday’s final round as well. Both teams earned 2.5 points in the scramble format and were primed for a potentially spectacular finish, with the Ephs leading by a relatively small margin, 8.5-6-5, going into the back nine. The drama, however, was not to be. Williams pulled away easily in the singles format, taking seven of the 10 matchups to earn the 15.5-9.5 team victory. Moser and Koh earned the only Amherst wins in the singles format, while Butensky and Sill halved their rounds to wrap up the Jeffs’ scoring.

Although not an ideal team finish, things certainly could be looking up for the Jeffs, who got an outstanding individual performance from Moser. He was the only Lord Jeff to record wins in each of the match play formats, going undefeated for the weekend. As such, he earned Amherst’s Most Valuable Player honor, given to the player that best helps carry the team over the course of the weekend. It should not be overlooked, however, that fellow freshman Sill had an impressive weekend in his own right, winning three matches and tying his fourth to earn the Jeffs 3.5 points.

With the fall season now complete, the Jeffs will look to turn the page on a successful year and improve during the offseason. The team has a busy spring ahead of them as they look forward to building on the growth they have already shown.