Men’s, women’s golf teams to open fall tournament schedules
By Blaze Joel, The Dartmouth Staff
Published on Thursday, September 13, 2012
The men’s and women’s golf teams will get their seasons started this weekend, with the men teeing it up in The McLaughlin at the Red Course in Bethpage, N.Y., and the women defending home turf at the Dartmouth Invitational at the Hanover Country Club.
Both teams have very different lineups from last year, with the men losing three-time Ivy League champion Peter Williamson ’12 and the women replacing coach Janet Coles with Hanover CC golf pro Alex Kirk.
Williamson is attempting to make it onto the Web.com Tour — formerly known as the Nationwide Tour — and hopes to use it as a jumping off point for a PGA Tour career. This summer, he has played several amateur tournaments, winning the North and South Amateur in Pinehurst, N.C., and the Southern Amateur Championship at Chenal Country Club in Arkansas. As the Southern Amateur champion, he was invited to participate at the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill next season on the PGA Tour.
Losing a reliable player such as Williamson will impact the team, but the Big Green will be able to deal with the loss, according to captain James Pleat ’13.
“We’re obviously going to miss him and his golf game, but we’re definitely a deeper team this year,” Pleat said. “We have three great freshmen, and we’ve all individually improved, so we think we’ll be able to make up for losing him.”
The three members of the Class of 2016 will make an immediate impact, especially Charles Cai ’16, who is participating in the tournament this weekend as well as the team’s second tournament in Alabama next weekend. The other two freshmen, despite not teeing it up this weekend, are improving and will get a chance to play for the Big Green this season, according to Pleat.
On the women’s side, Emily Hyman ’13 said that the coaching change will have a significant impact on the team this season.
“[Kirk] brings more of a team dynamic,” she said. “He’ll encourage us to have fun and not obsess over our own games. He already has given us a lot of individual instruction that our old coach did not.”
Hyman said that the change in the team’s philosophy will help the women be more competitive this season.
“Last year, we just tried to put up a number, but it’s not about the numbers as much right now — it’s about team morale and competing,” she said.
The team is loaded with young talent, according to Hyman.
“We have two new freshmen who are going to be really great additions,” she said.
Hyman also highlighted Jane Lee ’15, who finished 10th in the Ivy League Championship tournament last season, as one of the rising stars for the Big Green.
“Jane’s an awesome player,” Hyman said. “I don’t think last year was her peak by any means. I think she’ll continue to do very well.”
Both teams said that the biggest challenge they face is the harsh Hanover winters that split their fall and spring seasons.
“We’re always strong in the fall and then rusty in the spring,” Hyman said. “We need to find a way to keep that competitive spirit alive during the winter.”
The teams generally practice in Leverone Field House during Winter term, which helps them stay in the golf mindset when they cannot actually be on the course, according to Pleat. Hyman added that she hopes the coaching change will allow the team to utilize the indoor facility and improve even more.
Hyman said that the strength of the women’s team is the camaraderie and cohesiveness that exists between its members and added that she thinks the new philosophy of relaxing more on the course will help the team’s results. Pleat noted that the men will miss Williamson’s strength and consistency on the greens.
“We have a lot of people who strike the ball well,” he said. “One thing about Peter is, he’s a great putter. That’s something we can definitely work on as a team.”
The women’s team is looking to improve on last season’s last place finish in the Ivy League, while the men will look to take the next step after losing the Ivy Championship in a playoff to the University of Pennsylvania last spring.
“Our number one goal is to win Ivies, no matter how we do it,” Pleat said. “We’re good enough to do it, and we know that.”
After the match in New York, the men’s team will head to Alabama to participate in the Shoal Creek Invitational. They will then travel to Pennsylvania for the Big Five Invitational before concluding their fall season with Ivy League Match Play in New Jersey. The women hit the road after this weekend, traveling to New Haven, Conn., for the Yale Invitational, then to New Jersey for the ECAC Championship and the Rutgers Invitational.