Williamson places fifth at Regionals
By Taylor Malmsheimer, The Dartmouth Staff
Published on Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Peter Williamson ’12 posted a six-under-par 207 to tie for fifth place at the NCAA Central Regional Golf Tournament in Ann Arbor, Mich. over the weekend. Williamson started slow in the first day of the tournament but finished his collegiate career with a birdie on each of his last three holes.
The tournament hosted 13 teams and 10 individuals, and the best five teams and the lowest-scoring individual not on an advancing team qualified for the NCAA Championship. The University of Southern California won the team competition with an 11-under-par score of 841. The University of Oregon, Kent State University, the University of Virginia and Texas Christian University also advanced.
Albin Choi of North Carolina State University finished first individually to earn the lone qualifying spot for members of non-advancing teams. Sebastian MacLean of Xavier University also had a strong weekend, posting a seven-under-par score of 206 to finish tied for second. Williamson posted the third lowest score of an individual not on a qualifying team.
“[Williamson’s performance] will never be duplicated again from an Ivy League golfer,” Dartmouth men’s golf head coach Richard Parker said.
The tournament, which lasted from Thursday to Saturday, was a day longer than most collegiate tournaments, which typically play three rounds over two days.
“You just have to stay consistent,” Williamson said of the tournament’s long duration. “You have to put yourself in contention in the first round and see what you can do on the last day.”
On Thursday, Williamson ended his first day of play at one-over-par. The highlight of the day came when he carded an eagle on the par-four 13th hole. The eagle was overshadowed, however, by four bogeys on the day.
“You can’t have one bad day,” he said. “Unfortunately my bad day came in the first round, which kept me from competing down the stretch.”
Williamson recovered during the last two days of play, posting a three-under-par score on Friday and a four-under-par mark on Saturday to move up seven spots in the final round. The Hanover native began Saturday on the 10th tee and birdied his second hole. He followed with three pars and another birdie.
On the front nine, Williamson made par on his first six holes before posting birdies on the final three holes. Although he wished the birdies had come sooner, Williamson said he was proud of the way he ended the tournament.
“It was a great way to finish my career,” he said. “It’s nice to go out with three birdies.”
Williamson finished the tournament with one eagle, 13 birdies, 31 pars and nine bogeys. His fifth-place finish was the best of his career after a 41st-place finish in 2009 and a 10th-place finish at last year’s tournament. Although he entered the tournament with NCAA Championship aspirations, Williamson was happy with his results.
“I’m always happy to finish within the top five,” he said. “It’s always good to play with the best in the country.”
Williamson had to deal with the heartache of losing the team Ivy League title, heavy rains in Hanover and traveling in the two weeks before the tournament, according to Parker. Williamson alternated between indoor and outdoor practice depending on the weather for the day and took advantage of the indoor facilities at Leverone Fieldhouse to maintain his practice regimen.
“Stringing days together with practices is big in golf, even if it is inside,” Williamson said. “It’s important to keep up the muscle memory and strength.”
Williamson’s teammate James Pleat ’13 said it was tough for Williamson to prepare, especially juggling school and golf.
“He finds a way to get it done,” Pleat said. “There were some really good players at that tournament, and he was only four shots off going to the NCAAs. We know he did great.”
This year, Williamson also won his third Ivy League title by eight strokes, making him the second player in Ivy League history to win three Ivy League titles. Williamson was also named the Ivy League Player of the Year, his third time winning the award.
“He’s always been a devoted golfer,” Pleat said. “Any free time he has, he practices. It certainly showed by his good finish.”
Parker said he is not only impressed by the awards and accolades Williamson has earned for himself, but also appreciates the impact Williamson has had on the Big Green golf program.
“What he’s meant to Dartmouth and the Ivy League will never be measured,” Parker said. “He made everybody on the team better, which is hard to do in golf. He was contagious.”
Williamson plans to spend the summer playing in a slew of golf events before heading onto the professional circuit.
“As much as we’re going to miss him, it’s time for him to go,” Parker said. “He’s going to be carrying that Dartmouth banner for the rest of his life. It’s going to be a big deal.”