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Wesleyan to Host NESCAC Golf Championship Qualifier this Weekend

Photo by Steve McLaughlin
Photo by Steve McLaughlin

-- Courtesy of the NESCAC --

HADLEY, Mass. –
 The 2018 NESCAC Men's Golf Championship Fall Qualifier will take place on Saturday, September 29 and Sunday, September 30 at the Lyman Orchards Golf Club in Middlefield, Connecticut. Wesleyan is hosting the fall qualifier for the first time since 2011. The 36-hole event tees off on Saturday at 10:33 a.m., while Sunday's round will begin at 10:44 a.m. Both rounds will be played on the Robert Trent Jones, Sr. course.

>> NESCAC Men's Golf Championship Fall Qualifier Central <<

The winner of the fall qualifier will earn the right to host the NESCAC Championship, which is set for Saturday, April 27 and Sunday, April 28. The fall qualifier winner and the next three teams in the final standings will play 36 holes for the NESCAC title and an automatic bid in the 2019 Division III Men's Golf Championship. Additionally, for the second consecutive year, the four individuals with the lowest scores outside the four qualifying teams will also have an opportunity to participate in the championship.

Trinity hosted and won the fall qualifier last season. The Bantams finished 20 shots ahead of the field to earn the opportunity to host the spring championship at Indian Hill Country Club. In the championship, Trinity's Will Rosenfield (Baltimore, Md.) shot a 69 on the final day and tied teammate Kole Kelly for medalist honors with scores of 145 to lead the Bantams to their second NESCAC Championship.

A preview of the 2018 NESCAC Men's Golf Championship Fall Qualifier field, in order of how the teams stood on the final day of the qualifier last season, begins with the reigning champions, Trinity.

The Bantams have qualified for the NESCAC Championship 11 consecutive years and own two titles, including last year's victory. Trinity won its own Bill Detrick Invitational by 24 strokes to start the year. Rosenfield, a senior and last season's NESCAC Player of the Year, was four under with a score of 140 (70-70) to earn medalist honors. Seniors Taylor Kay-Green(Needham, Mass.) (77-68) and Joseph Ladd (San Francisco, Calif.) (71-74) shot matching scores of 145 to tie for third place. Trinity finished four strokes behind Williams at the Duke Nelson Invitational, hosted by Middlebury, to earn second place. Rosenfield led the team for the second straight weekend, firing a two-day score of 145 (73-72) to tie for fourth overall. Kay-Green, an All-NESCAC Second Team selection last year, posted two rounds of 73 to finish seventh at 146. Rosenfield led the Bantams to a third-place finish at the Williams Invitational, the final tune-up before the NESCAC qualifier. He was the runner-up among individual golfers, shooting a 145 (76-69), while Kay-Green finished in a tie for third (74-72-146).

Williams has qualified for the NESCAC Championship 10 times in the last 11 years and won its 12th NESCAC title in 2017. The Ephs opened the season with a victory at the Duke Nelson Invitational followed by a win at their own Williams Invitational. Junior Sam Goldenring (Florham Park, N.J.), an All-NESCAC First Team performer last season, earned medalist honors in both tournaments. He shot a three under 139 (69-70) to pace the Ephs at the Duke Nelson and finished two under at the Williams Invitational (69-71-140). First-year David Brewer (San Diego, Calif.) (75-73) and senior Jake Foehl (Williamstown, Mass.) (73-75) both finished with a score of 148 to tie for 14th at the Duke Nelson Invitational. Sophomore Beau David (Lafayette, La.), who shared NESCAC Rookie of the Year honors and was an All-NESCAC Second Team selection last season, posted rounds of 72 and 74 for a two-day total of 146 at the Williams Invitational to finish in a tie for third. Junior Will Kannegiser (Minot, Maine), an All-NESCAC Second Team honoree last year, will miss the fall season due to studying abroad.

Tufts is carrying the momentum it gained from qualifying for the NESCAC Championship for the first time in program history last year into the fall. The Jumbos started the season placing fourth at the Detrick Invitational, marking the program's best season opening performance in 11 years. Tufts finished tied for 10th at the Duke Nelson Invitational and finished in a tie for eighth at the Williams Invitational. Junior Brandon Karr (West Bloomfield, Mich.), an All-NESCAC Second Team selection last year, led the team at the Detrick Invitational, posting rounds of 75 and 73 (148) to finish ninth. He also paced the Jumbos at the Williams Invitational with a score of 153 (76-77) to finish tied for 16th. Sophomore Henry Hughes (Palo Alto, Calif.) was the top golfer for the Jumbos, shooting a score of 149 (75-74) to tie for 20th.

Amherst has eight titles to its credit, the last one coming in 1997, and has qualified for the NESCAC Championship three straight years and five times since 2011. All five golfers who competed at the 2017 NESCAC Fall Qualifier return to the roster, including junior Cameron Clark (Dallas, Texas), an All-NESCAC First Team selection last year and the NESCAC Player and Rookie of the Year in 2016, and senior Jack Burlison (Salinas, Calif.) who earned All-NESCAC Second Team honors last season. The Mammoths finished third at the Detrick Invitational to open the year. Junior Will Lonnquist (Edina, Minn.) tied for sixth overall with rounds of 73 and 74 for a total of 147 to lead the team. The Mammoths placed sixth at the Duke Nelson Invitational and were led by junior Nicholas Kumamoto's (Irvine, Calif.) score of 146 (71-75) as he tied for seventh. At the Williams Invitational, Amherst finished in a tie for 13th place and was led by first-year Erik Zetterstrom (Huntington, N.Y.) who registered a two-day total of 157 (75-82).

Hamilton has won three NESCAC Championships, last winning the crown in 2003. The Continentals last qualified for the spring championship in 2016 and have participated in the NESCAC Championship seven times since 2008. Hamilton has to replace four-time All-NESCAC golfer Joe Tigani who graduated, but has nine first-year players and another sophomore newcomer on the roster. The Continentals will also be without junior Bobby Osborn (Darien, Conn.), an All-NESCAC performer from a year ago. He is participating in Hamilton's Off-Campus Study Program and will miss the fall season. The Continentals won their own tournament to open the season, finished second at the St. Lawrence Invitational, placed eighth at the Duke Nelson Invitational, and finished in a tie for eighth at the Williams Invitational. First-year Milan Matneja (Fairfax, Va.) earned medalist honors at the first two tournaments of the year. He fired a 69 on the final day of the Hamilton Invitational and finished one over for the tournament with a score of 143 (74-69). Matneja carded rounds of 72 and 74 for a two-day total of 146 to lead the field at St. Lawrence. First-year Jack Habeeb (Scranton, Pa.) has been the leader in the last two tournaments, tying for 14th at the Duke Nelson with a score of 148 (76-72), and finishing in a tie for 12th following rounds of 80 and 72 for a final score of 152 at Williams.

Middlebury has won eight NESCAC titles, including five championships from 2011 to 2016. The Panthers missed qualifying for last year's NESCAC Championship for the first time in 10 years as several players were studying abroad. Middlebury placed seventh at their own Duke Nelson Invitational to open the season and added a seventh-place finish at the Williams Invitational. Junior David Packer (Greenwood Village, Colo.) finished in a tie for 10th place with a two-day total of 147 (74-73) to lead the squad on its home course. Sophomore Jordan Bessalel (Bethesda, Md.) (79-71), last year's NESCAC Co-Rookie of the Year, and senior Reid Buzby (San Francisco, Calif.) (73-77) each fired scores of 150 for Middlebury at the Duke Nelson Invitational. Buzby, who returns to the squad after spending last fall studying abroad, recorded a 76 and 77 (153) at Williams to lead the Panthers. Packer also shot a 153 (79-74) to join Buzby in 16th place. Junior Jeffrey Giguere (Providence, R.I.), an All-NESCAC First Team selection and one of the three individual golfers to play in the NESCAC Championship last season, is spending the fall semester abroad.

Sophomore Jack Griffith (Simsbury, Conn.) has been the top golfer for Colby all year. He tied for the fourth best round on the final day of the Bowdoin Invitational and finished 14th (79-74-153) to lead Colby to fifth place in the team standings. Griffith opened the Maine State Championship with a two-under 69 to lead the field after the first day. He shot a 74 in the second round to finish with a score of 143 and placed second among the individual golfers, while the Mules finished fourth as a team. Griffith enters the NESCAC Championship Qualifier coming off his first collegiate victory at the Maine-Farmington Invitational. He fired a 73 at Waterville Country Club as Colby finished third in the team standings.

Bates placed ninth at the season-opening Bowdoin Invitational, finished third at the Maine State Championships, and eighth at the Maine-Farmington Invitational. Sophomore Preston Haugh (Alexandria, Va.) and junior Julien Lewis (Seattle, Wash.) have paced the Bobcats. Haugh tied for 19th at the Maine State Championship (79-74-153), finished in a tie for 20th at Bowdoin Invitational behind two rounds of 77, and fired a team-best 79 at the UMF Invitational. Lewis led Bates at the Maine State Championship with rounds of 74 and 75 (149) to finish 12th and scored a 159 (81-78) at the Bowdoin Invitational to finish second among the Bobcats.

Junior Tom Dunleavy (Darien, Conn.), an All-NESCAC performer two years ago, has been Bowdoin's top finisher in every tournament. He scored a 153 (74-79) to tie for 14th at the Polar Bears' invitational. He posted rounds of 78 and 77 (155) to finish in a tie for 25th individually at the Maine State Championship, leading Bowdoin to a 20-stroke improvement on day two to finish ninth as a team. At the Williams Invitational, Dunleavy shot rounds of 77 and 74 (151) to tie for ninth and the Polar Bears placed 15th.

Wesleyan, the host of this year's fall qualifier, opened the year at the Detrick Invitational and also competed in the Duke Nelson and Williams Invitationals. First-year Eli Epstein-Lubow (Pawtucket, R.I.) has been the top golfer for the Cardinals. He finished in a tie for 11th place with a 150 after back-to-back rounds of 75 at the Detrick Invitational. He also led the Cardinals at the Duke Nelson Invitational with rounds of 78 and 74 (152) and carded a 162 (80-82) at Williams. First-year Noah Cate (Weston, Mass.) recorded back-to-back rounds of 79 (158) to lead the Cardinals at Williams.

Bates, Bowdoin, Colby, and Wesleyan are each looking to qualify for the spring championship for the first time.

Results for the NESCAC Men's Golf Championship Qualifier will be available at the completion of each day at the NESCAC.com.