Senior Bernie D’Amato kicked off the men’s golf team’s spring season with an impressive individual performance, shooting 1-over to clinch the Yale Spring Opener individual title at The Course at Yale in New Haven, Conn.
The title was D’Amato’s second individual one with Princeton, with his first title having come in the fall last season when he took the Classic at Shelter Harbor in a playoff. No Tiger on the men's golf team had won an individual title since D’Amato’s win at Shelter Harbor, giving him the last two individual titles for Princeton.
D’Amato, the lone senior on the team, had an exceptional first round, shooting a two under par to take a three-stroke lead halfway through the competition. The impressive first-round performance was enough to carry him through a not as impressive three over par in the second round.
The other members of the team — junior Nicholas Ricci (+12), junior Greg Jarmas (+13), rookie Quinn Prchal (+15) and sophomore Joseph D'Amato (+24), Bernie’s brother, each chipped in with solid performances as the Tigers finished tied for fourth place at +38 with Temple.
Villanova University took the team title at +23, nine shots ahead of Yale, with admirable performances by Michael Kania (+2) and Steve Skurla (+2), who finished tied for second place, one shot behind D’Amato.
The Tigers had claimed the Ivy Match Play Tournament title in the fall, in a competition in which Yale finished fourth. The Bulldogs were able to ride the home-field advantage and improve all-around play to beat Princeton this time around.
Among the seven Ivy teams, the Tigers finished in second place, six shots behind Yale and two shots ahead of Penn, five ahead of Columbia, 15 ahead of Brown, 20 ahead of Dartmouth and 46 ahead of Cornell.
Meanwhile, the women’s golf team had a good outing in the UNCW Seahawk Invitational in Wallace, N.C. where they placed fifth thanks to a strong performance by Kelly Shon (+7), which was good for fourth place on the individual leaderboard. The competition was the third event for the women so far this spring, after a second-place finish in the Low Country Intercollegiate two weeks ago and a dual match victory over Penn last Saturday.
Senior Tiffany Dong (+15), freshman Alexandra Wong (+17), freshman Sydney Kersten (+20) and senior Anna Jang (+24) also had solid outings.
“We played pretty well, but there’s still room for improvement,” Wong said. “We are in a good place now, but it’s going to take some effort to do well at the Ivies.”
Old Dominion took the team title, finishing ahead of Georgia State, UNC Greensboro and UNC Wilmington. UNCG’s Fanny Cnops finished two shots ahead of the pack (and five ahead of Shon) at +2 to take the individual title.
The men now have their annual home invitational to prepare for next weekend at Springdale Golf Club, while the women will face Rutgers in a dual match on Friday in their final event before the Ivy League Championships at the end of the month.
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