This past weekend, the Tufts golf team kicked off the semester with a renewed spirit, bags refreshed with new tees and clean clubs. Six Jumbos took to the grassy fairways of Newington, Conn., for the Detrick Invitational and propelled the team to a respectable fourth-place finish. The end product was a tournament filled with consistent performances and impressive strokes all around.
The Jumbos came out swinging strong, landing in third by the end of Saturday and sitting a mere three strokes behind host college and NESCAC rival Trinity. The collective score of 299 strokes was led by a strong round from sophomore Travis Clauson, who shot par at 72. Other top scores on the day included a 74 from senior Brandon Karr and a 76 from sophomore Mac Bredahl.
Collectively, after a rougher outing Sunday, Tufts settled into fourth place after being leapfrogged by Amherst, who edged them out by a mere stroke. Also ahead of Tufts at the end of the weekend were Trinity and Babson College. Tufts marked the last team before a drop-off in the rankings, logging a score 24 strokes better than fifth-place Western New England University. This was a strong indicator that the Jumbos will be able to hang with strong competition all year.
Coach George Pendergast praised the Jumbos’ putting above all else, a critical component to any successful day on the course.
“Overall what the team did really well was putt,” Pendergast said. “We made a lot of four and five footers.”
The roster is looking as deep as ever, highlighted by a three-way tie for 14th overall among the field between junior Henry Hughes, junior Harry Theodore and Bredahl.
“The team as a whole played really well,” Pendergast said. “There’s really no one standout.”
Ultimately, Karr led the charge for the Jumbos. He claimed the 10th spot overall in the tournament and is looking as consistent as ever. If minor issues like the small drop-off in play Sunday can be addressed, the Jumbos can turn their focus toward the NESCAC Qualifier with optimism and anticipation.
Included among the Jumbos’ squad was first-year Kemp Basset, who made his collegiate debut on Saturday. He had a rough outing for his first day on the course, scoring an 82 on the round. However, he came into form Sunday, shooting the best score of the team for the day with a 74.
“[Basset] really bounced back on the second day,” Pendergast said.
Looking ahead, the Jumbos are gearing up for the Duke Nelson Invitational hosted by Middlebury, followed by the Williams Fall Invitational. The NESCAC Qualifier tournament at Sandy Burr Country Club in Wayland, Mass., closes out the month. The qualifier is the biggest focus for much of the team.
“Our short term goal is to qualify for the NESCAC Championship,” senior Ethan Sorkin said earlier in the season.
Pendergast looks to get reps in for his mainstays in the lineup, as they gear up for qualifiers at the end of the month while also working in some of the newer additions to the roster to get some valuable playing time.
Tufts will travel to Ralph Myhre Golf Course this weekend, Sept. 14 and 15, for the Duke Nelson Invitational.