-- Recap by Dom Vazquez '19 --
MIDDLEFIELD, Conn. – Middlebury College narrowly secured a victory in the NESCAC Men's Golf Championship Qualifier at Lyman Orchards hosted by Wesleyan University this weekend, beating out Trinity by just one stroke.
The Panthers, who placed sixth at last year's Qualifier, finished with a 36-hole team score of 587 and took home first place. They will host the 2019 NESCAC Men's Golf Championship in the spring.
Trinity, Hamilton, and Tufts will join the Panthers in the spring. The Bantams missed out on hosting its second NESCAC Men's Golf Championship in a row, finishing with a two-day score of 588. Hamilton was not far behind with a team score of 592, and Tufts followed closely with a team score of 595. Tufts qualifies for its second-ever NESCAC Championship after also qualifying in last year's tournament, and just edges out Williams after being five strokes behind them after the first day.
The Ephs finished the second day with a team score of 593, just one stroke back from fourth place Tufts, to take fifth.
Middlebury was led by senior Reid Buzby and sophomore Jordan Bessalel, who finished third and tied for fourth respectively. Buzby was tied for second on day one after shooting a 71 but fell back one spot after shooting a 73 on day two for a score of 144. Bessalel managed a 74 on day two for an overall score of 146. Middlebury shot a combined 293 on the first day followed by a 294 on day two.
The Bantams were paced by the individual first place finisher and senior Will Rosenfield who shot a three-under-par 69 on day one and a two-under-par on day two for a 139 overall. Senior Jack Junge carded a 74 on the second day for a total score of 149 and an 11th place tie. Trinity shot a 291 on the first day and a 297 on the second.
Hamilton sophomore Thomas Graham jumped from fifth place to second place on day two after carding a three-under-par 69 for a total score of 142. Freshman Milan Matneja shot a 75 on day two for a 146 overall and a fourth-place tie. The Continentals scored a combined 300 on the second day after a first-day score of 292.
The Jumbos clawed their way into qualification following a fifth-place team finish on day one, led by freshman Mac Bredahl and sophomore Harry Theodore. Bredahl shaved two strokes off his first-day score with a 72 for a two-day score of 146, while Theodore also shot a 72 on the second day to finish with a score of 148. The Jumbos shot a 291 on day two, improving from a score of 304 on day one.
Tufts was followed by Williams (299-297--596) in fifth place, Amherst (314-301--615) in sixth, Bowdoin (318-314--632) in seventh, Wesleyan (323-318--641) in eighth, Bates (321-321--642) in ninth, and Colby (326-320--646) in 10th.
The Cardinals were led by a pair of freshman in Noah Cate and Eli Epstein-Lubow. Cate finished in a tie for 16th with a two-day score of 150 and Epstein-Lubow finished in 21st with a two-day 151. He also had the lowest 18-hole score for Wesleyan as he carded a 73 on Sunday.
In addition to the top four qualifying teams, the top four individual scorers outside of the qualifying teams are eligible to compete at the NESCAC Championship. The top four individuals were junior Sam Goldenring and sophomore Beau David (both Williams), junior Cameron Clark (Amherst), and senior Jake Foehl (Williams).