Williamstown, MA -- Four NESCAC schools teed it up today at Taconic Golf Club for the first round of the conference championship. Williams hosted Middlebury, Trinity, and Hamilton in the winner-take-all event for an automatic bid to the NCAA Championship in May. The conditions made scoring difficult for the field, as temperatures ranged in the low 50's and winds gusted from 10-20 miles per hour all day. After Saturday's round, defending NESCAC champion Middlebury College, with its team total of 309, holds a slim one shot lead over Williams (310). Trinity College is in third place after its 321, and Hamilton is in fourth with its 327.
Individually, Williams' sophomore Ross Bowen '14 has the overnight lead; he carded a stellar one-over par 72, three better than Middlebury freshman Eric Laorr, who is in second place after his 75. Panther sophomore Rob Donahoe carded a 76 and is in third place going into Sunday. Trinity's senior Alex Bermingham and Eph sophomore Cody Semmelrock '14 rounded out the top five with twin 77's.
Coach Rick Pohle had the following to say about his team's performance in the tough conditions today: "We survived the day, as we dealt with cool temperatures, gusty winds and some early jitters. Overall I think we have to be pleased with where we stand going into the final round tomorrow, especially after the rounds Ross Bowen (72) and Cody Semmelrock (77) posted for the team. They kept us in the event with tremendous efforts under some tough conditions to play in. Also to their credit, Dylan Dethier (80) and Jake Abrahams (81) hung in there to salvage scores that allowed us to keep pace with Middlebury."
Pohle also commented on Williams' gutsy performance given its inexperience and youth: "I feel we passed a huge test today since none of these players have ever played in a NESCAC final and we should be proud of the effort. We are looking forward to tomorrow's competition and rising to that challenge as well."
The final round will begin Sunday with tee times starting at 11 A.M.