The Middlebury men's golf team enters the upcoming year seeking its third NCAA Tournament bid in the last five campaigns with a solid group of returners already in place. Winners of five of the last eight NESCAC Championships, the Panthers are primed to contend again in 2018-19.
Middlebury is guided by Bill Beaney, who is in his 25th year and has been recognized as the NESCAC Coach of the Year three times (2014, 2015, 2016). In addition to the aforementioned nucleus of players returning, some newcomers will also battle for spots in the lineup.
Atop the lineup will be junior Jeffrey Giguere, who will spend the fall semester studying abroad, produced six top-six finishes last season. The First-Team All-NESCAC and GCAA PING Northeast All-Region performer fired his best finish at the Saratoga Invitational, carding a Panther season-low score of 67 to go along with a 76 for a second-place tie. Later in the fall, he tied for third overall at the NESCAC Qualifier, including a 71 on day two for a 147. Competing as an individual at the NESCAC Championship, Giguere was sixth with a two-day total of 147 (71-76).
Seniors Reid Buzby and David McDaniel were both contributors to the lineup a season ago. After studying abroad during the fall portion of the season, Buzby tallied a pair of eighth-place finishes, first at the Westport Hampton Inn Invitational (81-73-154) and later in the Williams Spring Invitational (80-72-152).
McDaniel competed in six tournaments last year, firing a season-best 70 on day one of the Williams Fall Invitational to finish in a 14th-place tie. During the NESCAC Qualifier, he was a scorer for the Panthers on both days, carding a 165 (82-83) to wind up in a tie for 33rd.
Senior Philippe Morin, a two-time All-NESCAC and GCAA PING Northeast All-Region Team honoree, also studied abroad in the fall of 2017 and competed in two events during the spring season. A Division III All-Rookie Team recipient in 2015-16, he fired a two-day score of 169 (80-89) during the Williams Spring Invitational.
Sophomore Jordan Bessalel had a solid first year on the course for the Panthers. The Co-NESCAC Rookie of the Year competed in every event a season ago, posting a score of 148 (73-75) to finish tied for eighth in the Saratoga Invitational. He concluded his year with scores of 76 and 75 in the Williams Spring Invitational, finishing in a fourth-place tie.
Other returning Panthers who will compete for spots this season are senior Jack Wing, along with juniors David Packer and John Stenovec, who will also study abroad this fall. Sophomore John Mikus will also look for a place in the lineup. Each has seen playing time in the lineup during their careers, while first-year players will also compete for spots.
Middlebury opens the 2018-19 season when it entertains numerous teams from across the region during the 35th annual Duke Nelson Invitational at the Ralph Myhre Golf Course. After a trip to the Williams Fall Invitational, the Panthers will take part in the NESCAC Qualifier on September 29 and 30 hosted by Wesleyan. The team will also play in the Ekwanok Tournament, the Saratoga Invitational and the NEIGA Championships to round out the fall season.