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Ivy Champs: Men’s golf, Fantinelli wins team and individual titles

Princeton golf with the William J. Miller trophy after the win. 
Photo courtesy of @Princeton/Twitter.

This past weekend, the Princeton men’s golf squad trekked to The Stanwich Club in Greenwich, Conn, with one goal in mind: returning to Princeton with the William J. Miller trophy. Even after a shaky first day of play, the Tigers did just that, securing the program’s 31st Ivy League title on the green. 

The Tigers achieved more than just the team title, though, as first-year Riccardo Fantinelli also won the individual tournament with a stroke count of minus-five. Besting the second-place golfer by four strokes, the Italian golfed to an impressive showing. The weekend victories marked the first time Princeton has won both the team and the individual titles in the tournament since 2013, when Greg Jarmas ’14 won it all. 


With the team win, Princeton has now won two of the last three Ivy titles. Fantinelli’s win ended an eight-year drought of no Princeton individual titles, as the last Tiger to win it all was Quinn Prchal ’17 in 2015.  

“It is without a doubt an honor to accomplish this as a first-year,” Fantinelli told The Daily Princetonian. “Having such supportive and competitive teammates has really helped me improve on and off the golf course throughout the whole year, in order to peak at the right time.”

Princeton also had two more golfers finish within the top four, as junior Jackson Fretty took home the bronze with a final stroke count of 216 (par). Fretty, who played golf at Greenwich High School, was playing in his hometown at a course he was very familiar with. Meanwhile, sophomore golfer William Huang finished in fourth place, just off the podium. 

“It meant so much to play well in my hometown at a club I had been lucky to play at beforehand,” Fretty told the ‘Prince.’ “There is some added pressure when you are playing in your hometown, but I just tried to embrace it and feed off the extra support.”

On the first day, the title did not look like a guarantee for Princeton, as the Tigers were nine strokes behind first-place Dartmouth and sat in fourth-place overall after Friday. Fantinelli, the eventual winner, finished at par Friday and was in third place, but Huang and Fretty were both outside the top ten. 

The two other Princeton golfers, senior Max Ting and junior Henry Dubiel, were both outside of the top 25 after day one. 


On the second day of competition, Princeton bounced back. To highlight a momentous day, Fretty tied the Stanwich Club course record, shooting six strokes under par. Princeton collectively shot seven under on the day. 

“I really just tried to be patient with myself after round one,” Fretty explained. “I knew I was playing well going into the tournament, so patience and staying focused was the biggest key to my success in the second round.”

Fantinelli continued with yet another strong day, shooting two-under par on Saturday to jump up to first place ahead of Harvard’s Brian Ma. 

“Coach Green, Stagner, and my coach from my back home certainly played a major role in keeping me focused on the process rather than the outcome,” Fantinelli told the ‘Prince.’ “My game has felt good for the past few months and it was only a matter of staying patient and trusting the process.”

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After a lackluster first day, Huang battled his way back to the front. On the second day, the reigning Ivy League Rookie of the Year shot two-over par and found himself tied for 8th place heading into Sunday. 

A strong second day set the Tigers at 598 strokes overall, eight strokes ahead of second-place Dartmouth. An eight-stroke lead would prove to be too much for the other Ivy squads, as the final day of competition was nothing but smooth sailing. Despite finishing two over, Princeton still outperformed the competition by five strokes. 

Fantinelli finished the final round three under par to cruise to the individual title, becoming the 12th Tiger to win it all and delivering the program its 15th individual title since the tournament’s inception. 

He also became the third Tiger rookie to win the title, joining Judd Pritchard ’00 and Nat Hoopes ’03. Fantinelli’s final stroke count of 211 was the lowest at the tournament since Prchal’s win in 2015, where he shot six-under and finished with a stroke count of 210.

The third day was also monumental for Huang, as he shot three-under-par and finished 4th. Lastly, Fretty had another good day to keep himself in the top three, finishing with a stroke count of 73 and shooting one stroke above par. 

The other two Princeton golfers, Ting and Dubiel, finished 26th and 29th respectively.

With the team win, Princeton has earned an auto bid to the NCAA regionals. Taking place from May 15–17, the location of the tournament will be announced along with the rest of the competition on May 3.  

“I’m looking forward to competing as a team in regionals with a chance to make the nationals,” Fantinelli added. “Playing in regionals will give me the possibility to see where my game is compared to some of the best amateurs in the world.”

Hayk Yengibaryan is an assistant editor for the Sports section at the ‘Prince.’

JP Ohl is a contributor to the Sports section at the ‘Prince.’

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