Joe Ladd ’19
While many of us were glued to the T.V. this past Sunday as Tiger Woods surged on the back nine of Augusta National Golf Club en route to his fifth green jacket and fifteenth major title, the Trinity College men’s golf team were busy capturing a title of their own. The Bantams traveled to Ballston Spa, New York to compete in the Dr. Tim Brown Invitational hosted by Skidmore College this past weekend and proved to the northeast that Trinity remains as one of the top competitors in division three college golf. The Bantams started the tournament well, with tri-captain Will Rosenfield ’19 posting a 4-under par 67 to take the individual lead. Tri-captain Taylor Kay-Green ’19 helped the Bantams with an even par round of 71, as well. Heading into the final round on Sunday, the Bantams trailed Middlebury College by three shots as they posted a score of 290. 949 miles away, in Augusta, Georgia, Tiger Woods faced a similar deficit heading into his final round, trailing two shots to Francesco Molinari.
On Sunday, the Bantams got an early start to the day and played steady golf throughout the round. It was only fitting that Tiger’s final round tee time at the Masters coincided directly with the starting times of the Bantams. Many players juggled the intensity of the tournament with the history that was being made at the Masters, but the Bantams remained focused on their goal. Nick Branchina ’19 came out firing–posting a 5-under front nine score of 30. Sophomore Ricky Leme finished first with a score of 73, indicating positive outcomes from the Bantams. On the concluding hole of Branchina’s round, roars could be heard from the Ballston Spa Country Club clubhouse. Unfortunately, these weren’t for the Bantams, but Branchina hoisted that energy and finished with a 67. The drama for the Bantams started to unfold once the last groups walked up the eighteenth hole, however. At this point, Trinity and Middlebury were tied. Taylor Kay-Green missed the green on his approach shot but managed to get up and down on a brilliant chip shot from just left of the green, which secured the stalemate against the Panthers. Rosenfield’s group was last to finish and the senior tri-captain took advantage of a Middlebury bogey by securing a clutch par on the eighteenth. With both teams in the clubhouse, the results ended in a tie. This meant that the playoff was to be decided with the lowest score of the fifth player, whose score would’ve been initially dropped in regulation scoring. Senior tri-captain Jack Junge’s score of 73 was good enough to edge Middlebury, giving the Bantams a first-place finish. It wasn’t over yet, however. For the individual title, Rosenfield beat Middlebury’s number one player in a sudden-death playoff with a dramatic birdie. By this point, everyone was well aware of Tiger’s historic victory at Augusta and the energy was palpable. The second tournament of the spring season is next week at Williams College, followed by the NESCAC Championships at Middlebury. The Bantams aim to defend their conference title and make a national showing at the NCAA DIII Championships. Some Sundays are better than others, and last Sunday was no exception for the Bantam golf program.