Crimson Finishes Third at Ivy Match Play Championship

Crimson Finishes Third at Ivy Match Play Championship

MATTAPOISETT, Mass. - The inaugural Ivy League Match Play event at The Bay Club in Mattapoisett, Mass., was stopped short due to weather as Sunday's rounds were cancelled. As a result, Yale and Penn shared the title while Harvard and Columbia tied for third.

Dartmouth and Princeton will share fifth and Cornell and Brown will share seventh.

The format for the event consisted of a bracket similar to the one used in the NCAA Men's Golf Championships in which a team must win their match in order to advance to the next round. Within a round the team match consists of five individual matches. The team that wins the best out of the five matches advances to the next round.  The winner of the bracket takes home the championship.

In this tournament the teams were seeded by their performance in last year's Ivy League Championship. This placed Harvard in the sixth seed pitted against the number three seed Dartmouth.

Leading off for the Crimson was junior Louis Amira who set a positive tone for the day by birdying his first two holes as well as three others in route to a decisive 9&7 victory over Dartmouth's Dan Egan. Sophomore Connor Wentzell continued the positive pace with several of his own birdies and a 7&5 victory over Teddy Overton. Dartmouth rallied in the third match as their team captain Davis Mullaney captured a 2&1 victory over sophomore Tony Grillo. Sophomore Mark Pollak sealed the victory for the Crimson with a 4&2 victory over James Pleat. In the Crimson's final match senior Greg Shuman led a spirited battle against last year's Ivy League individual champion, Peter Williamson. The two finished their 18 holes all square and agreed to conclude the match with a gentleman's tie. The Crimson's total of 3½ matches was good enough for a first round victory and secured a place in the semi-finals.

For the semifinal match the Crimson faced second seed Penn. The Crimson, again, began the match with a positive tone as Amira secured a victory over Penn's Dillon Hakes with an improbable up and down on the 18th green.  Grillo followed with a 2&1 victory over Scotty Williams.  Pollak and Shuman were unable to follow their teammates and lost 2&1 and 3&2 to Chance Pipitone and Colin St.Maxins, respectively. The team total of two matches apiece placed the team's fate in the hands of the second match between Wentzell and Bryant Williams. Their match was tightly contested and 18 holes proved too few to decide a winner. 

The members of both teams gathered on the first tee for a sudden-death playoff as the two competed for the team victory. Both players hit excellent approaches into the first hole leaving short birdie putts. Neither player was able to convert their putts for birdie and settled for pars, pushing the match to a 20th hole. On the second playoff hole Wentzell hit a tremendous hybrid from 210 yards into a strong wind to within twenty feet and an easy two-putt par. Unfazed, Williams stuck a three iron on to the green and was able to curl in a 12-foot putt for birdie for a dramatic, 3-2 Penn victory over the Crimson. 

The Ivy League Match Play marked Harvard's final tournament for the fall season. The team will begin their off-season training next week in preparation for the spring season and the eventual Ivy League Championship. 

First Round:
Columbia d. Brown, 3-2
Harvard d. Dartmouth, 3-2
Yale d. Princeton, 3-2
Penn d. Cornell, 3-2

Second Round:
Yale d. Columbia, 3-2
Penn d. Harvard, 3-2
Princeton d. Brown, 5-0
Dartmouth d. Cornell, 4-1