The Metedeconk National Golf Club in Jackson, N.J. will play host to the golf team and the rest of the Ancient Eight in the Ivy tournament this weekend for the third consecutive year. This two-day stroke play event will award both the top-finishing medallist and low combined scoring team.
Unlike most collegiate tournaments that the Red normally enters, this is a three-round, 54-hole tournament. Two back-to-back rounds will be played tomorrow. Both physical and mental endurance will be the order of the day for the Red.
Sophomore Justin Watzka and junior Justin Gatwood were the two high Cornell finishers in last week’s Lafayette Invitational. Both were in a tie for a respectable 22nd place. The team finished 11th overall. Six strokes separated Watzka and Gatwood from a top five finish.
To round out the lineup head coach Matt Baughan will have senior captain Dave Nayak, junior Ross LaFleur, and sophomore Matt Rymer joining Watzka and Gatwood this weekend.
Metedeconk features the standard par 72, but it is rather lengthy at over 7200 yards. The course plays to a difficult slope rating of 138 from the championship tees. The rule against the usage of metal spikes should leave the greens pristine and allow for putts to hold their lines.
Both yesterday’s and today’s sunny weather will dry out the course, but these efforts will all be in vain as a late afternoon thunderstorm is expected to roll in tomorrow. Rain will continue on Sunday. This naturally favors those who can hit the high long ball because there will not be a lot of roll after the shot. On the other hand, the softened greens will be more forgiving on slightly errant approach shots and will allow for better scoring.
There will be a premium placed on accurate tee shots to set up these approach shots.
“This course would best be categorized as your classic target golf course,” said Michael Pollack, Metedeconk’s club manager. He continued, “I would call this course narrow and much to the same style of a Pinehurst with pine tree lined fairways.”
Princeton will be looking for its third-straight Ivy championship and 16th overall. Penn and Yale will also figure to challenge for the team championship as all three of these schools finished 1-2-3 last year on the same course in the Ivy tournament.
Baughan will look to shock a couple of teams and finish out of the cellar, which is something that the Red has been unable to do over the past four years.
Archived article by Donald Lee