Bruno struggles in Ivy championships

Sports Staff Writer
Thursday, April 28, 2011

The men’s and women’s golf teams concluded their seasons in New Jersey last weekend at their respective Ivy League Championships. The men finished seventh in a field of eight, and the women earned sixth in a seven-team field.

The men were led by captain Michael Amato ’11, who earned second team All-Ivy honors and finished seventh individually with a three-round score of 220 (74-78-76) in his last tournament for the Bears.

“He stepped up as I knew he would,” said men’s Head Coach Michael Hughes. “I’ve been with him all four years, and it was very emotional for me seeing him go. It’s difficult to watch him move on, but he’s obviously off to bigger and better things.”

Behind Amato’s leadership, Bruno finished with a 54-hole score of 952 after rounds of 318-316-318.  The team ranked fifth after the first round and reached as high as third place before a disappointing final round. Yale clinched the team championship by 20 strokes with a score of 908. Despite coming in just one spot ahead of last place, the Bears were hardly discouraged with the finish.

“You obviously expect to do well and be in the top half of the field, but for a team that has gotten last the last three years, just to get out of the basement is a good thing,” said J.D. Ardell ’13. “You really have to take baby steps. This shows everyone that we can play with any of these teams, and there’s a lot of optimism going into next year.”

The men’s squad features a young roster — Amato is the only senior departing after this season. In addition to Amato, the Bears sent two sophomores — Jack Mylott ’13 and Ardell — and two first-years — Peter Callas ’14 and Kyohei Itamura ’14 — to the Ivy Championship.

“We’re losing Mike, but you regroup and you rearm yourself,” Hughes said. “With the Ivy League tournament, it’s all about experience. We have kids who have played in a couple of Ivy championships now, and it will be the same nucleus for two more years after this.”

Though he is on his way out, Amato said he is optimistic about the future of the team he will leave behind.

“Going forward, I think everyone knows what they need to work on,” he said. “We have two really good golfers coming in who can take my place, and hopefully next year, we’ll do a little bit better.”

While the men started their tournament strong and slowly fell behind, the women’s squad struggled from the outset. After 36 holes, the team ranked last in the field with a two-round score of 655 (331-324). But on the final day, the Bears clawed back with rounds of 73 and 76 from juniors Carly Arison ’12 and Megan Tuohy ’12, respectively.

“We started out poorly, but I was proud of their finish on the last day,” said women’s Head Coach Danielle Griffiths. “Megan and Carly had good finishes. We had two scores in the 70s, but it seemed like at least somebody had a rough day everyday.”

Tuohy’s three-round score of 237 (77-84-76) made her the Bears’ top finisher and earned her 18th place individually. Arison improved each round, carding scores of 91, 76 and 73 for a total tournament score of 240.

In the past three years, Griffiths has improved her team’s finish in the Ivy Championship by one spot each year. In 2007-08, the team earned seventh place, in 2008-09, the team finished sixth, and last year, the team came in fifth place. But this year, the Bears faced a talented field.

“The top four teams in the Ivy League are top-100, so they’re tough to beat,” Griffiths said.

While the men’s squad is comprised of first-years and sophomores, the women’s roster features a more seasoned group. Bruno sent three juniors to the Ivy Championship alongside Susan Restrepo ’11 and Sarah Guarascio ’11, who each played their final tournament for the Bears.

Despite the end-of-season results, both teams — with four juniors on the women’s squad and a young group of players on the men’s side — are excited for the future.

“There is a definite difference between the first time you play at Ivies and the second,” Ardell said. “Last year, there were some definite nerves with me thinking, ‘Oh wow, this is the one tournament that really matters.’ This year, I knew I could compete with any of these kids, and I had beaten a lot of them before. Having a young team that has experienced all of this before is only going to help us going forward.”

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