First-years flash potential at Newport Classic

Sophomore Justin Feldman takes a tee shot on the 3rd holes, Final Round on April 12. Courtesy Brian Golden

On Tuesday, Tufts competed in the Bentley Newport Classic at Newport National Golf Club in Middletown, Rhode Island. In the second-to-last tournament of the spring season, the Jumbos had a successful outing led by a number of strong performances by first-year players.

First-year Sanjay Mukherjee had the team’s best round. In just his second tournament for the Jumbos, the Montclair, N.J. native shot a four-over-par 76, sharing ninth place out of 41 entrants at the tournament with three other players.

Senior tri-captain Owen Elliott noted that this was the first spring tournament for some of the new players who largely performed well.

“Sanjay was the real standout performer of the day. He said after the round that it was the first time he had really been comfortable during a tournament round, and it showed,” Elliot said. “Seventy-six in breezy conditions on that course is a very good score. It’s a real testament to his progress as a tournament player.”

Elliott and first-year Brandon Karr finished not far behind, as Elliott shot a 77, finishing tied for 13th, and Karr shot a 78 to tie for 15th. In doing so, Elliott notched his ninth consecutive round with a score in the 70s, a streak that started at the Williams Fall Invitational in September. Junior tri-captain Aaron Corn’s 81 (tied for 22nd) and sophomore Brian Creonte’s 88 (tied for 35th) rounded out the scoring for the Jumbos.

With so many first-years performing well in the Bentley Newport Classic and in recent tournaments, Elliott is excited for the future of the team.

“I’m the only senior on the team, so considering there are 12 [other] guys on the team currently and some good recruits coming in, the team really shouldn’t have trouble keeping the forward momentum,” Elliot said.

The Jumbos finished fourth out of six teams in the tournament with a total team score of 312, finishing 24 over par. The team results were close, as there was only a nine-stroke gap between the first-place Bentley Falcons and the fourth-place Jumbos. Bentley was lead by senior captain John Perkins, who claimed first place at the tournament with a score of even-par 72.

Elliott was pleased with the outcome of the tournament and noted that it came despite some unfortunate circumstances that presented new challenges for the Jumbos.

“I think we played remarkably well,” Elliott said. “For the past week, we have been grieving over the loss of coach [George] Pendergast to a hip replacement. So considering [his current absence], it was impressive for us to compose ourselves and shoot some low scores.”

Associate head coach Brian Golden explained that he was also pleased with the Jumbos’ performance and took it as a sign of a bright future for the Jumbos.

“The conditions were much drier than the conditions a week ago, but the team still had to contend with strong winds at Newport National and posted a very respectable team total,” Golden told the Daily in an email.

Tufts will compete in its last tournament of the season at the Johnson and Wales Invitational, hosted at Cranston Country Club in Cranston, Rhode Island. The two day tournament will take place April 22 and 23.

According to Golden, the team is looking forward to the final tournament of the season, and the players view it as a means to measure their success one final time before the fall season.

“Heading into the team’s final tournament this coming weekend, I feel very confident the team can contend again and build even more momentum looking to the fall season,” he wrote.