HADLEY, Mass. – After missing the cut and finishing sixth in last year's qualifier, Amherst men's golf aims to return to the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Championship in the spring, targeting a top-four placement in the 13th NESCAC Fall Championship Qualifier this weekend at Sandy Burr Country Club in Wayland, Massachusetts.
Tufts will serve as hosts this year, the Jumbos first time in program history. Play will commence at 10:18 a.m. on Saturday (September 28) with teams teeing off in waves, followed by Sunday's 10 a.m. start with groupings based on Saturday's scores.
The top four teams this weekend and the top four individuals outside of the top four teams will advance to the 2020 NESCAC Men's Golf Championship set for April 25-26, 2020. The team with the top score over the two-day, 36-hole qualifier earns the right to host the championship in the spring.
A total of 11 of the 15 golfers who finished tied for 11th or better from last season's qualifier return in 2019 and five of the 13 NESCAC All-Conference honorees from last year return.
Links to live scoring and results from each day will be posted on NESCAC.com
The Mammoths return all but one to the 2019 edition qualifier with three of the returners contributing to the 314 score just a season ago. Senior Will Lonnquist '20, an All-NESCAC selection last season, has been Amherst's top golfer at two tournaments this fall. He started the season with a runner-up performance behind a pair of 71s at Trinity's Detrick Invitational and led the Mammoths with a two-day score of 151 (79-72) at Middlebury's Duke Nelson Invitational.
Senior Cameron Clark (Dallas, Texas), the 2016 NESCAC Player and Rookie of the Year, finished ninth at the Detrick Invitational with a score of 148 (74-74), while senior Nick Sullivan (Simsbury, Conn.) recorded a two-round total of 151 (76-75) to lead the team at the Williams Invitational. Amherst has played in the spring championship five times and three of the last four years. The Mammoths' own eight NESCAC titles, the last coming in 1997.
SCOUTING THE FIELD
Senior Andrew Garcia-Bou (Eastchester, N.Y.) recorded rounds of 75 and 77 (152) to finish as the runner-up at the season-opening Bowdoin Invitational as the Bates Bobcats finished in a tie for sixth overall. Garcia-Bou was the top golfer for the Bobcats at the Williams Invitational with a low score of 155 (79-76). Senior Julien Lewis (Seattle, Wash.) led the team at its own invitational, finishing in second place (76-78-154), while the team placed third overall. The Bobcats are looking to reach the championship for the first time in program history under new head coach Henry Fall.
Bowdoin senior Tom Dunleavy (Darien, Conn.), an All-NESCAC performer last season, finished in a tie for fourth on the individual leaderboard with a two-day total of 155 (78-77) at the Polar Bears' own invitational to begin the season. Bowdoin won the Bates Invitational as junior Matt McCarthy (Old Lyme, Conn.) earned medalist honors following rounds of 77 and 76 for a 36-hole total of 153. First-year Favian Basnawi (Valencia, Calif.) was the top Polar Bear at the Williams Invitational, shooting a 75 on the final day to finish the tournament with a score of 157. Guided by first-year head coach Jay Durfee, Bowdoin is seeking its first trip to the spring championship.
Junior Jack Griffith (Simsbury, Conn.) has been the leader for the Colby Mules this fall. He posted a score of 159 (79-80) to finish in a tie for 18th to open the season at the Bowdoin Invitational. He carded rounds of 80 and 75 (155) to finish third at the Bates Invitational and the Mules placed fourth as a team, and posted a two-day total of 160 (77-83) to pace the Mules at the Williams Invitational. Colby is also seeking its first appearance in the spring championship.
Sophomore Jack Habeeb (Scranton, Pa.), an All-NESCAC selection last season, finished 2-under (70-72-142) to earn runner-up honors at the St. Lawrence Invitational to begin the season for Hamilton. He added a score of 144 (73-71) to finish in a tie for sixth and lead the Continentals at the Duke Nelson Invitational. Habeeb tied for medalist honors at the Williams Invitational with a 1-under score of 141 (69-72) in the final tune-up before the NESCAC Fall Qualifier. Hamilton has advanced to the spring championship field eight times, including last season, and won its third NESCAC title in 2003.
Middlebury, last year's qualifier winner, is led by senior Jeff Giguere (Providence, R.I.). He shot even-par (70-72-142) to grab medalist honors as the Panthers finished third at their own Duke Nelson Invitational. Giguere added a two-round total of 147 (74-73) to finish in a tie for ninth at the Williams Invitational. The Panthers have advanced to the spring championship 11 times in the last 12 years, and won their most recent NESCAC title in 2016.
Trinity is the two-time defending NESCAC Champion and a Bantam has earned medalist honors at the qualifier and the championship the last two years (2017-18 & 2018-19). Junior Ricardo Paes Leme (Lake Villa, Ill.) has been Trinity's top golfer in every tournament this fall. He tied for second at the Detrick Invitational after shooting 71 on both days for a total of 142 and finished in a tie for 22nd after carding a pair of 75s (150) at the Duke Nelson Invitational. Paes Leme enters the fall qualifier coming off an even-par score of 142 (71-71) at the Williams Invitational. The Bantams look to extend its streak of qualifying for the spring championship to 13 straight years and a chance to play for a third straight NESCAC title.
Three different Jumbos have led the Tufts team this season, showing the Jumbos' depth in their lineup. Sophomore Travis Clauson (Martinez, Calif.) finished in a tie for fourth at the Detrick Invitational with a score of 144 (72-72). Sophomore Mac Bredhal (Chatham, N.J.) led the Jumbos at Middlebury with rounds of 77 and 70 for a score of 147 (T-13) and senior Brandon Karr (West Bloomfield, Mich.) finished in a tie for 12th at the Williams Invitational (73-75-148). The Jumbos are looking to claim a spot in the spring championship for the third consecutive year.
First-year Jacob Fain (Port Washington, N.Y.) has been a consistent golfer for Wesleyan this season. He led the Cardinals at the Duke Nelson Invitational with a score of 154 (80-74) and shot a team-low 75 on day one of the Williams Invitational, finishing with an overall score of 160 (75-85). The Cardinals are looking to advance to the spring championship for the first time in program history.
Williams senior Will Kannegieser (Minot, Maine) was the medalist at the 2017 NESCAC Championship and returns to the field after spending last fall studying abroad. He will team up with senior Sam Goldenring (Florham Park, N.J.), last year's NCAA individual champion. The duo finished 1-2 in the Ephs' lineup to lead Williams to runner-up honors at the Duke Nelson Invitational to open the season. Kannegieser shot 74-69 (143) to finish tied for second, while Goldenring posted a total of 145 (75-70). Goldenring, the only All-NESCAC First Team selection to return this season, tied for medalist honors with a 1-under finish (71-70-141) at the Williams Invitational. The Ephs pace all NESCAC teams with 12 titles, their last coming in 2017, and have advanced to the spring championship 10 times in the last 11 years.
2018 QUALIFIER / CHAMPIONSHIP RECAP
The 2018 qualifier was tightly contested as nine strokes separated the top five teams. Amherst went on to hold their day one placement of sixth, missing the cut by 20 strokes. Middlebury went on to edge Trinity, 578 to 588, reserving the right to host the spring championship. Cameron Clark '20 tied for 11th and shot a 149 (74-75) in the qualifier to earn a spot in the Individual Championship.
Due to weather conditions, the championship was cut to a 27-hole tournament and Clark came out firing with an even-par (35) in the opening nine followed by a +2 (73) on the final day to tie for fifth on the weekend.
Williams' Sam Goldenring led the Individuals, tying for third with 107 while Trinity went on to win their second straight conference title by four strokes over second place finisher Hamilton.
NESCAC Men's Golf Championship Fall Qualifier
Saturday-Sunday, September 28-29, 2019
Hosted by Tufts at Sandy Burr Country Club (Wayland, Mass.)
Day 1 – Saturday, September 28
10:18 a.m. – Wave 1 – Bates, Colby, Wesleyan
11:03 a.m. – Wave 2 – Bowdoin, Trinity, Tufts
11:48 a.m. – Wave 3 – Amherst, Hamilton, Middlebury, Williams
Day 2 – Sunday, September 29
10:00 a.m. – Wave 1 – Three teams with the highest cumulative score from Day 1
10:45 a.m. – Wave 2 – Next three teams with the highest cumulative score from Day 1
11:30 a.m. – Wave 3 – Four teams with the lowest cumulative score from Day 1
Championship - Saturday-Sunday, April 25-26, 2020
at the winner of fall qualifier