Golf Team Finishes 19th At Middlebury TournamentBy Morten W. Hoegh
The varsity golf team opened its fall season at Middlebury College in Vermont this past weekend in the annual Duke Nelson Tournament. The team finished a modest 19th out of 25 teams.
Middlebury College has its own on-campus course, which was in very good condition. There were some tricky holes, but in general the holes were rather short.
The greens were small and not elevated and, because of the rain, quite soft. In other words, the condition of the course invited the players to come up with some low scores.
The big surprise of the tournament was freshman Craig Talbot '00. On Saturday, in excellent weather and playing conditions, he played the par 71 course in 80 strokes. This was well above everybody's expectations, and promises well for the future.
Jay Grayson '97, the new team captain, came in with 82, Young E. Kim '98 shot 88 and tournament-debutant Dan Henderson '98 pleased everybody with a solid 89. Morten W. Hoegh '98 suffered from a bad cold, and his score did not count. The combined score of 339 after day one put MIT tied in 13th place out.
The weather on Sunday worsened slightly but still does not explain the worse scores produced by the Engineers. Talbot was still the low man with 85, Kim and Henderson both shot 88, but Grayson ended up with a disappointing 93. The players had lost some of the short touch compared to Saturday, but that does not fully describe the difference in performance.
The team score on Sunday was 354, producing a total of 693. This placed MIT at 19th place overall. Skidmore College won the tournament with an impressive total score of 598.
The Middlebury tournament was slightly disappointing overall but nevertheless ensured the golfers that the team has the potential to be strong this year.
The team experienced several major transitions over the summer. The team lost a couple of good players with last year's graduating class. A solid group of new freshman has joined, and a basis for future development is definitely in place.
Coach Jack Barry retired after having been with the team for more than 20 years. Assistant Coach Joe Kuchta temporarily took over the responsibilities as coach.
At the same time, the team has been lucky to find Bob Hayes as a new assistant coach and presumably head coach in the future.
Hayes has played a lot of golf, and at one point he contemplated going pro. He has also had a significant amount of teaching experience.