Men's Golf Championship Gets Underway at Historic Baltusrol Beginning Friday
SPRINGFIELD, N.J. - The Ivy League Men's Golf Championship returns to Baltusrol this weekend.
Four years ago, the Ancient Eight embarked on the ancient course for the first time ever. Columbia came away with the title, winning by three strokes over Yale to earn its third-straight team title. Penn's Scotty Williams claimed the individual title on the first playoff hole over Columbia's Clark Granum. The pair tied at 214 after 54 holes. Granham had rallied from six shots down on the day, but Williams' approach on the playoff hole landed five feet from the pin on No. 18 and he putted in for the win.
Time will tell if the 2014 edition brings similar drama.
Yale enters the tournament as the top-ranked Ivy according to Golfstat. The Bulldogs, ranked No. 69 heading into last weekend's action, feature three of the top five players in the League according to Golfstat, including last year's Ivy League Player of the Year Sam Bernstein.
Here is a quick look at each of the teams:
The Bears haven't finished in the top half of the championship since a second-place finish in 2007, but will look to reverse that fortune this weekend. Nelson Hargrove is Brown's top rated golfer according to Golfstat, sitting at No. 20. Two weeks ago at the Princeton Invitational, Hargrove placed 30th after rounds of 73-72-75=230.
The Lions are the third-rated team in the League according to Golfstat. They placed fourth two weeks ago at the Princeton Invitational. Earlier this month, Columbia recorded its first tournament title since 2010 when it won Villanova's Wildcat Invitational. The Lions held off Army to win by one stroke, recording their first victory since October 2010 when they topped a 16-team field at The Classic at Shelter Harbor in Westerly, R.I.
Brandon Jowers and Harrison Shih both rank in the Top 10 in the League according to Golfstat and should contend for the individual title. Jowers is the third-rated golfer, while Shih is 10th. The duo led the way in the win at Villanova with Shih placing third and Jowers finishing fifth.
Last year, when the Ivy League Championship was played at Caves Valley, Jowers was seventh and Shih tied for eighth.
The Big Red were the Ivy League Championship's runners-up in 2005, but haven't finished in the top half of the standings since. After a 10th-place finish at Princeton two weeks ago, the Big Red will look to change recent trends.
Senior Carl Schimenti is 16th-rated in the League according to Golfstat. He was tied for 28th at Princeton with 73-71-75=219. Senior Zack Bosse carded a final round 69 at Princeton for a team-best 24th-place finish. It was his first sub-70 round this season.
After losing the team title in a playoff in 2012, the Big Green placed fifth at last year's Ivy League Championship. That is also where Golfstat has Dartmouth rated in the League entering this year's tournament.
Freshman Jeffrey Lang is Dartmouth's highest-rated golfer. He is eighth in the League according to Golfstat. He carded a final round 67 at Princeton to tie for second place at seven-under par, just one shot off the lead. Lang shot under par in each of his three rounds at Princeton, but his most consistent performance came in the final round as he birdied four holes while making par on the other 14.
As a team, Dartmouth finished in third place at Princeton behind Harvard and Yale.
The Crimson last won an Ivy League title in 1975. But with their performance at Princeton two weeks ago, that drought might come to an end this weekend.
The Crimson are the second-rated team in the League in Golfstat and won the Princeton Invitational, holding off a late charge from Yale to end the Bulldogs' three-year reign.
Akash Mirchandani won individual honors, jumping out to a lead with rounds of 67 and 66 to begin the tournament and holding on for a one-shot win over Lang and Harvard teammate Robert Deng. Deng is rated fourth in the Golfstat ratings, while Mirchandani is seventh, Rohan Ramnath is 11th, Kendrick Vinar is 12th and Daniel DeLaGarza is 13th -- making Harvard the only Ivy with five golfers in the Top 13. And at the same time, there is not a senior in the bunch.
The Quakers last won the title in 2012 and finished third last year at Caves Valley. Penn finished 11th two weeks ago at Princeton and will to improve upon that this weekend.
Ben Cooley is the Quakers top rated golfer at 17th in the Golfstat ratings. He has two Top-20 finishes third season and placed 38th at Princeton. Freshman Dane Walton is rated 19th.
The Tigers look to defend their crown after winning last year for the first time since 2006. Greg Jarmas is back to defending his individual title. A year ago, Jarmas put together three solid rounds at Caves Valley for 71-72-70=213 to win the tournament at three-over par. He became the first Tiger in eight years to win the Ivy's individual title.
The Tigers are the fourth-rated team in the League according to Golfstat. The Tigers were ninth in their tournament two weeks ago as Jarmas lead the way with a 12th-place finish.
Jarmas is rated sixth in Golfstat entering the tournament and freshman teammate Alex Dombrowski is rated 14th.
The Bulldogs last won the Ivy title in 2011. Leading after two rounds at Caves Valley, the Bulldogs stumbled as Princeton rallied. Time will tell if Yale can make amends for that.
The top-rated Ivy and the 69th-rated team nationally according to Golfstat, the Bulldogs placed second at Princeton two weeks ago. Yale features three of the Top 5 rated players in the League in top-rated Will Davenport, No. 2-rated Sam Bernstein and No. 5-rated Joe Willis. Bernstein was the Ivy League Player of the Year last season and finished sixth at Caves Valley. Willis carded one of the lowest rounds in the nation this year, shooting a 63.
Along with Sean Gaudette, who is rated ninth, the Bulldogs are the only Ivy with four in the Top 10, making them the team to watch this weekend.