Men's Golf Prepares for NCAA Championship

Men's Golf Prepares for NCAA Championship
NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP SITE

The Middlebury College men's golf team will make its seventh NCAA Tournament appearance in 10 years after capturing its eighth NESCAC Championship this spring. The event will take place from May 10-13 at the Midvale Country Club and the Mendon Golf Club, in Rochester, New York and will be hosted by St. John Fisher College and the Monroe County Sports Commission. Forty one teams will compete along with five additional individuals. The top teams will advance to the third and fourth rounds.

Middlebury previously appeared in the NCAA Tournament in 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2015. The Panthers are hoping to make the cut for the first time in school history. Middlebury opened the fall season in 12th place among 20 teams at the Williams Fall Invitational. The following weekend, the Panthers hosted its annual Duke Nelson Tournament with 26 teams in town. Middlebury placed teams in fifth and 10th place at the event.

Middlebury dominated the NESCAC Qualifier on October 3-4, shooting a 605 to claim the title by 12 strokes, earning the right to host the spring championship. The three-team Equanok Tournament wrapped up the fall season.

The spring opened with the Manhattanville/NYU Invitational, before the team placed fifth among 19 squads at the Wildcat Invitational hosted by Johnson & Wales. After a second-place effort at the Williams Spring Tournament, the Panthers hosted the NESCAC Championship on April 30 and May 1 at the Ralph Myhre Golf Course. Middlebury won its fifth title in six years and eighth overall by shooting a 618, seven strokes ahead of Trinity.

Representing the team at the NCAAs will be junior Rodrigo Andrade (Guatemala City, Guatemala), sophomores Bennett Doherty (Bedford, N.H.) and Joe Ko (North Hills, Calif.), along with first-year players Reid Buzby (San Francisco, Calif.) and Philippe Morin (Canton, Conn.).

Andrade turned in one of his best performances of the season at the NESCAC Championship. He led wire-to-wire, shooting a 74 on the first day and a 77 during rainy play on day two to earn medalist honors. Andrade combined for a two-day total of 151 three times this season, including a seventh-place finish (78-73) among 129 golfers at the Duke Nelson Tournament on September 19-20 in Middlebury and an 11th-place effort (75-76) at the ECAC Championship on October 10-11. He earned second-team All-NESCAC honors this fall with an 11th-place finish at the NESCAC Qualifier.

Doherty has played every weekend this season for the Panthers. His best weekend came at the Manhattanville/NYU Invitational on April 9-10, placing 15th among 63 players with a 155 (75-80). A year ago, he finished in a first-place tie with teammate Fitz Bowen, shooting a pair of 73s on his home course at the NESCAC Championship.

Ko has been hot at times for Middlebury, including a 150 (76-74) at the Manhattanville/NYU Invitational to place fifth overall. The following weekend, he was eighth among 100 players at the Johnson & Wales Spring Invitational with a two-day total of 156 (80-76).

Buzby earned first-team All-NESCAC honors this past fall with a second-place finish (75-76) at the NESCAC Qualifier. The following weekend, he shot a 151 (75-76) to place third among 69 players at the ECAC Championship. Buzby shot a season-best round of 73 at the Ekwanok Tournament on October 13th.

Morin also earned first-team All-NESCAC in the fall with a sixth-place finish at the NESCAC Qualifier (75-78). His season-low effort came at the Williams Spring Invitational on April 23-24, shooting a 151 (73-78) to finish second among 48 golfers. Morin finished in a fourth-place tie at the NESCAC Championship this spring, carding a two-day total of 155 (75-80).

Head Coach Bill Beaney is in his 22nd year as head coach of the Panther men's golf team. His strong coaching abilities have developed the team into one of the top teams in the region. He currently has the team in the midst of its most successful stretch in school history with eight NESCAC titles and seven trips to the NCAA Championship in the past 10 years. He was named the NESCAC Coach of the Year in 2007, 2013, 2014 and 2015.