Men’s Golf Dazzles; Women Slip Up
By Clay Andrews '13, Staff Writer

The men’s golf team turned in a stellar performance this weekend at the 2010 NESCAC Championship Qualifier to earn Amherst’s first-ever spot in a NESCAC Championship since the format’s inception four years ago. Amherst, along with Middlebury, Williams and Trinity will compete for the 2011 NESCAC Championship in the spring, which Middlebury will host.

The Jeffs finished third amidst the 10 NESCAC schools with a two-day score of 598, one stroke shy of William’s second-place 597. Trip Wray ’11 led the Jeffs with an impressive 145 combined score, good enough for a share of fifth overall in the tournament and First Team all-NESCAC honors. Not far behind, junior Nate Belkin shot a 147, leaving him tied for seventh place and allowing him to secure a spot on the All-NESCAC Second Team. Nicholas Koh ’14, Erik Hansen ’14 and Alex Butensky ’13 also contributed to the team’s qualifying performance. “The seniors on the team, Mike and Trip have really displayed real leadership in the way they behave on and off the course,” Koh said of this year’s team. “They make Eric and I feel really welcome, and that always helps.”

As a team, Amherst was a model for consistency this weekend, posting scores of 299 on both days. “The team really has turned the corner,” said Koh. With the season getting into full swing, the team could not have chosen a better time to find its groove. Amherst will have over six months to prepare for the 2011 NESCAC Championship — no small task, but one that is certainly possible with head coach Jack Arena ’83 at the helm. Arena, who’s coaching the team in his 18th season, was named the 2010 NESCAC Coach of the Year.

The team returns to action in the NESCAC Match Play tournament, which is held at the Crumpin-Fox Golf Club in Bernardston, Mass. the weekend of Oct. 16.


The women’s golf team produced a fourth-place finish at this weekend’s six-team tournament in Middlebury, falling off from last weekend’s third place result at a larger tournament. The team scored a two-day total of 708, only two strokes behind Vassar College’s 706. Williams won the event by a landslide with a team score of 652, and Middlebury was second with a distant 692.

Hayley Milbourn ’11 and Elaine Lin ’12 were Amherst’s standout performers in the tournament, finishing seventh and ninth overall, respectively. Milbourn’s team-low 169 led the team, closely followed by Lin’s 170. First-year Sooji Choi shot a two-day 185, and sophomore Irene Hickey also contributed with a combined 190. Sophomore Liz Monty started the tournament strong with a solid 90 in the first round, but withdrew before day two’s proceedings. Amherst’s starting five golfers for each tournament seems to be in a state of flux as Amherst has had a different starting five in each of the first three tournaments of the season. “Five players are not written in stone,” said Coach Michelle Morgan of the shifting lineup. “Qualifying occurs every week for the following tournament. So it is based on scores, and then there’s a spot left open for a coach’s choice for lots of various reasons that I might choose someone, besides a qualifying score.”

Despite the less-than-stellar showing, there does not seem to be a need to panic following the Jeffs’ bottom-half finish this weekend. Including Lee’s independent score, Amherst featured three players with individual top-10 finishes, a feat that only first-place Williams duplicated. “There is always something to learn each time we step out onto the golf course, myself included,” said Morgan. “There is no such thing as mastering the game of golf.” Certainly the potential is there for stronger showings in the future. The team will play again next weekend at Williams College’s Taconic Golf Club.

Issue 05, Submitted 2010-10-06 04:06:31