Golf Teams Capture Several NESCAC Honors
By Clay Andrews '13, Staff Writer

The women’s golf team more than lived up to their lofty expectations in the last couple weekends of the fall season, cruising to two second-place tournament finishes and, most importantly, reclaiming the NESCAC title — at the Williams Fall Classic, no less.

During their run, the team finished second at Wellesley this past weekend and second at Williams the weekend before that. But Amherst shone the most when it really counted, winning the coveted NESCAC title with the best score at the second day of the Williams Fall Classic.

Although Williams won the Williams Fall Classic at its home course, only second-day scores counted towards the 2010 NESCAC Women’s Golf Tournament Title, and the Jeffs scored a tournament-low 320 to handily beat Middlebury’s 326 that Sunday.

“At the Williams tournament we came back after being down by 13 strokes to only lose by two,” said Coach Michelle Morgan. “That strong comeback gave us a very satisfying and very very well-deserved NESCAC title.”

Senior Hayley Milbourn led the team in scoring over the weekend at Williams, posting a 160, good enough for a share of third overall in the entire tournament.

However, it was the trio of Milbourn, junior Elaine Lin and sophomore Liz Monty that all came through when the NESCAC title was on the line, each tallying a sub-80 score.

In fact, Amherst was the only team to have three separate golfers post sub-80 scores, and the three Jeffs accounted for three of the eight scores under 80 the whole tournament. “The NESCAC victory was huge,” said Monty in reaction to the title win. “It was a big confidence booster and showed us and the other teams that we are very capable of beating Williams…on their own course,” she added.

First-years Sooji Choi and Kristen Lee also contributed to the team’s second-place finish with scores of 176 and 177, respectively. Amherst could have easily ended up winning the Williams Fall Classic too, if it wasn’t for an unheard-of 71 scored by Williams’ Alexandra Groetsema on the first day.

Despite having already locked up their conference title, the women’s golf team continued their quality play at Wellesley this past weekend, finishing second amidst a field of six teams at the Ann S. Batchelder Invitational. Monty led the team with a tournament third-best 157. “I’ve focused a lot on the mental part of my game,” said Monty. “Instead of thinking about the final score I tried to just think hole by hole.”

Lin and Milbourn again rallied on the second day of a two-day tournament to post worthy scores. Junior Nina Yoo and Lee also helped the team, while Choi played as an independent.

The team certainly came forth with an impressive display these past couple weekends, flexing some of the potential that many had been promoting just before the end of the fall season.

“A team can play themselves out of a tournament on day one,” said Morgan regarding the Williams tournament. “This spring we will work very hard towards the goal of a stronger first day which will help us dramatically in our quest for first place.”

Based on Amherst’s performances in day twos this fall, the women’s golf team could very well succeed in that quest if they improve their day-one showings. The team returns to action next spring.


Coming off an inspiring showing at the 2010 NESCAC Qualifier, the men’s golf team’s efforts were further rewarded with a handful of NESCAC honors.

Senior captain Trip Wray earned a spot on the 2010 all-NESCAC First Team with his outstanding, consistent play this season. “It has been a goal of mine since I started playing at Amherst as a freshman,” Wray said of his honor. “It’s rewarding to perform well and help the team.”

In addition, Junior Nate Belkin made the Second Team, no small feat in itself. To top it off, Coach Jack Arena won the honor of NESCAC Coach of the Year, rounding out Amherst’s impressive representation in the conference awards.

This was the first time Arena has won the award in his 18 years as Amherst golf’s skipper, despite coaching three Lord Jeff teams to NESCAC titles.

The men’s golf team also played in the first-ever NESCAC Match Play event last weekend, finishing fourth despite tying for the second-best match record and boasting the third-best combined score.

Amherst only managed fourth because the first day decided whether the team made the championship pool or the consolation pool, and due to a tiebreaker the Jeffs were forced into the consolation pool where fourth was the best possible outcome.

“It was sort of a weird format,” answered Wray, when asked about the event’s setup. “It was more of a stroke play event than a match play tournament.”

In that consolation pool, however, the Jeffs handled Bowdoin and Wesleyan, while Williams, Middlebury and Trinity battled it out for the championship. Williams ultimately triumphed over Middlebury to win the event.

First-year Erik Hansen led the team on the second day of the Match Play event with an impressive 75. Wray, Belkin and first-year Nick Koh also turned in solid day two performances, helping to secure Amherst’s dominance of the consolation pool. Each of those players earned more than half of the six possible points in each of their matches.

This event marked the end of the team’s fall season, but has certainly endowed the team with some confidence heading into the winter layoff.

“I’m optimistic about the spring and very much looking forward to the NESCAC Championship and Little Three Tournament,” said Arena when asked his thoughts on the team. “We had multiple players step up at various times with some excellent golf this season. Trip had an exceptional fall and took a lot of pressure off of the others, allowing them to play more relaxed.”

The Amherst faithful should expect more great things from this complete golf team after the snow melts. The team will return to the course come spring break in March.

Issue 06, Submitted 2010-10-20 16:39:24