HADLEY, Mass. – Trinity College will host the 2017 NESCAC Men’s Golf Fall Championship Qualifier at Indian Hill Country Club (par-72; 6,513 yards) in Newington, Conn. on September 30 and October 1. The first wave of golfers will tee off at 10:30 a.m. on each day of the tournament. The top four teams will advance to the 2018 NESCAC Men’s Golf Championship, with the winner of the qualifier serving as the host. Additionally, the top four individual golfers outside of the top four qualifying teams will be eligible to play in the spring championship event.
The Bantams, who are hosting the qualifier for the first time since 2010 and have qualified for the spring championship 10 times, tied for runner-up honors at the 2017 NESCAC Men’s Golf Championship at Taconic Golf Club in Williamstown, Mass. last spring. Trinity opened this season winning its own Bill Detrick Invitational, placed third in the Duke Nelson Invitational at Middlebury and captured first place at the Williams Invitational last weekend. Senior Nate Choukas (Hanover, N.H.), a two-time All-NESCAC honoree and the 2014 NESCAC Rookie of the Year, is one of the top returning golfers for the Bantams after finishing sixth at the NESCAC Championship last spring. Junior Will Rosenfield (Baltimore, Md.), who carded a 149 at last spring’s championship for a fifth-place finish, has been Trinity’s top golfer in each tournament this season. He tied for medalist honors at the Bill Detrick Invitational (148), finished tied for third at the Duke Nelson Invitational (143) and was the individual champion at the Williams Invitational last weekend, where he was the only golfer to shoot under par (139) at Taconic Golf Club. Junior Taylor Kay-Green (Needham, Mass.), a 2015 All-NESCAC Second Team selection, tied Rosenfield for medalist honors at Trinity’s invitational (148) and finished in a tie for third at the Williams Invitational (144).
After failing to qualify for the 2016 NESCAC Championship, Williams bounced back to win the 2016 qualifier by virtue of a tiebreaker and earn the right to host the 2017 NESCAC Men’s Golf Championship, and captured its first league title since 2013 on its home course of Taconic Golf Club. Sophomore Will Kannegieser (Minot, Maine) lead the Williams charge last spring, garnering medalist honors with a 36-hole total of 145. The Ephs opened the 2017 fall season by winning the Middlebury Fall Classic then posted the second-best NESCAC team score behind Trinity at the Duke Nelson Invitational, finishing fourth overall, and earned runner-up honors at the Williams Invitational last weekend. Kannegieser and classmate Sam Goldenring (Florham Park, N.J.) tied for first with matching scores of 71 to lead Williams at the Middlebury Fall Classic match-play event in Lake Placid, N.Y. Senior Grant Raffel (Palo Alto, Calif.) was the Ephs’ low man at the Duke Nelson Invitational at Middlebury with a two-day score of 143. He also posted a score of 143 to finish as runner-up at the Williams Invitational to pace the Ephs.
Middlebury enters the fall qualifier aiming to extend its streak of spring championship appearances to 11, but is without juniors Philippe Morin (Canton, Conn.) and Reid Buzby (San Francisco, Calif.), two All-NESCAC Second Team honorees, as well as junior Ben Bichet (Manchester, Mass.) who are spending the semester studying abroad. The Panthers finished second in their own Middlebury Fall Classic match-play event to open the year. Senior Bennett Doherty (Bedford, N.H.), who was abroad last fall, placed third with a round of 72 to pace the team. The Panthers finished ninth, fourth among NESCAC teams, at their own Duke Nelson Invitational. Senior Joe Ko (North Hills, Calif.) led the way with a third-place showing (143). At the Williams Invitational last weekend, Middlebury finished fifth and was led by sophomore Jeffrey Giguere’s (Providence, R.I.) two-day total of 146.
Amherst looks to qualify for the spring championship for the fourth time in five years. The Mammoths began 2017 with a fifth-place finish at the Bill Detrick Invitational. Sophomore Jeffery Herr (Palo Alto, Calif.) led all Amherst golfers and tied for medalist honors with rounds of 75 and 73 for a total of 148 at the event. The Mammoths placed 16th at the Duke Nelson Invitational and finished eighth at the Williams Invitational. Sophomore Nicholas Kumamoto (Irvine, Calif.) was Amherst’s top player in both events, carding a 152 in each invitational. Sophomore Cameron Clark (Dallas, Texas) and junior Jack Burlison (Salinas, Calif.) also return for Amherst. Clark is the reigning NESCAC Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year after firing a two-day total of 139 to take home medalist honors at the 2016 NESCAC Men’s Golf Championship Qualifier, while Burlison is a two-time All-NESCAC performer.
Senior Joe Tigani (Hockessin, Del.), a three-time All-NESCAC selection, leads Hamilton into the qualifier as the Continentals’ top golfer in three of the squad’s four tournaments this season. He carded a score of 151 to garner medalist honors and lead the Continentals to a first-place finish at the Hamilton Invitational to start the season. The team finished as runner-up at the St. Lawrence Invitational, with Tigani earning medalist honors for the second straight weekend with a score of 148. Hamilton, which is shooting to qualify for its 10th NESCAC Championship, finished tied for 14th at the Duke Nelson Invitational and placed 10th at the Williams Invitational last weekend. Tigani placed 12th overall with a score of 150 at Williams.
Tufts has turned in solid showings this season as the program seeks its first appearance in the NESCAC Championship. Sophomore Brandon Karr (West Bloomfield, Mich.) has stepped up for the Jumbos. Karr was 10th at the Bill Detrick Invitational (153) and finished in a tie for third place at the Duke Nelson Invitational (143) to lead Tufts to a pair of fifth-place finishes as a team and only behind Trinity in each tournament. He also posted a score of 154 at the Williams Invitational where the Jumbos finished ninth overall and fifth among NESCAC teams.
Other golfers to watch include Bates sophomore Julien Lewin (Seattle, Wash.). He has paced the Bobcats in two tournaments this fall and led Bates to a second place finish at the Maine State Championship, the team’s best finish since 2005. Bowdoin sophomore Tom Dunleavy (Darien, Conn.) was an All-NESCAC First Team selection as a rookie. He placed fourth at the 2016 qualifier and has two top-10 finishes to lead the Polar Bears this season. Colby rookie Jack Griffith (Simsbury, Conn.) paced the Mules this season, with a pair of top-10 finishes at the Maine State Championship (147-2nd) and the Husson Invitational (148-10th). Senior Zach Lambros (Redondo Beach, Calif.) is the top golfer for Wesleyan, having led the Cardinals at the Bill Detrick (156) and Duke Nelson Invitationals (155).
Results for the NESCAC Men's Golf Championship Qualifier will be available at the completion of each day at the NESCAC.com.
2017 NESCAC Men's Golf Championship Qualifier
at Indian Hill Country Club – Newington, Conn.
Day 1 – Saturday, September 30
10:30 a.m. – Wave 1 – Hamilton, Wesleyan, Colby
11:10 a.m. – Wave 2 – Amherst, Tufts, Trinity
11:50 a.m. – Wave 3 – Middlebury, Bowdoin, Bates, Williams
Day 2 – Sunday, October 1
10:30 a.m. – Wave 1 – Three teams with the highest cumulative score from Day 1
11:10 a.m. – Wave 2 – Next three teams with highest cumulative score from Day 1
11:50 a.m. – Wave 3 – Remaining four teams with highest cumulative score from Day 1