May 3, 2012
Be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it. The Hamilton men’s golf team hoped for some rainy weather at NESCACs, but instead, Mother Nature granted them 40 mph winds.
In the howling winds, the Continentals shot a two-day 656 to place fourth in the 2012 NESCAC championship at Taconic Golf Club. The team was worn down from their practice round, even before having to walk 36 holes in those conditions.
“The temperatures that Friday were in and around the low 40s and many of us were pretty worn out by the end of the round,” said Carter White ’14. “A lot of people may not think that the wind plays such a large factor in their on-course play, but having to hit long irons into greens where you're used to possibly having a wedge in your hand wears on you.”
The adjustment was clearly not an easy one to make. White was not exaggerating, considering the scores across the board.
Let us juxtapose: Hamilton qualified for the championship by totaling 600 in the NESCAC fall qualifier, then posted 656 for the weekend. Middlebury, who shot 594 in the fall qualifier, won the weekend’s championship with a score of 626. The Panthers earn an automatic bid to the 2012 Division III NCAA championship.
“The course was playing its absolute hardest in terms of set-up,” said co-captain and All-American Greg Scott ’14. “It was a grind all weekend. We honestly needed some good breaks for things to have turned out differently.”
Unfortunately, the breaks did not come. Scott could not match his season average of 74.9 on either day, despite leading the way for the Continentals with a two-day total of 158. Julian Ophals ’14 matched Scott’s total, including a 77 on
Sunday, which marked the second best score in the 20-man field.
“I think our biggest shortcomings were poor putting and big numbers,” Scott Blosser ’12 said to put it simply. “Everybody hung tough and played their hearts out, but sometimes things just don’t go your way.”
The men certainly have some positives to take from the weekend: They qualified in the NESCAC’s top four teams, which the Continentals failed to do last season. Moreover, several talented freshmen, including standout Dhanika De Silva, can come back next year having notched a full season of playing experience. The 2012-13 Continentals, yet again, will be chock-full of young talent.
“The freshmen from this year all display an incredible amount of potential,” White commented. “I think now that they have a year under their belt they will be well prepared for tournament play beginning next fall.”
Furthermore, the team will be happy to return Knute Gailor ’13 for his senior season and Brandon De Graff ’14 for the spring semester. They should be more tournament-ready and will enter the season with a chip on their shoulders.
Nonetheless, it goes unsaid that co-captain Blosser’s departure from the Hill will leave a hole in the lineup.
“The loss of [Blosser] is going to hurt the team two-fold because we will have lost not only a great player, but a positive leader who cared deeply about every member of the team,” said White. “I know I speak for all of us when I say he will be deeply missed.”
At the least, White certainly spoke for Scott, as the All-American added, “I am honored to have been the co-captain of such a driven and hardworking individual.”
Blosser added some departing words that carry a lot of weight coming from him:
“I think the future is very bright for this team. The sky is the limit.”