In its first outing of the spring season, the men's golf team narrowly missed edging out the University of Arizona. Fighting windy conditions and rustiness, the team fell two strokes short, dropping the contest, 313-311.
Arizona "is a very tough school to play against. It has historically been a leader in the NCAA," said Head Coach Michael Hughes. "There were very windy conditions, but they only nipped us by two shots."
The contest had a very different result from last year's, in which the Wildcats outshot the Bears by 30 strokes.
"It would have been nice to knock off Arizona since they gave us a pretty bad beating last year," Hughes said.
The Brown squad, though able to practice in the week leading up to the tournament, has yet to play as many tournaments in the spring as its warm-weather counterparts.
"To be honest, when we played U of A, they had already played six tournaments," said captain J.D. Ardell '13. "The expectations were really low. It was a great showing on our part."
Justin Miller '15 continued his standout play for the team and finished with a 73, one-over par, for the tournament - the lowest score for the Brown squad.
"Justin continues to lead our team. He's been the lowest scorer in almost every match since he's been here," Hughes said. "We're going to ride him right to the finish line."
Aside from the play from Miller, fellow first-year Jon Greb '15 notched a 78, while Ardell and Peter Callas '14 both carded 81 for the day.
Kyohei Itamura '14 shot an 84 to round out the scorecard for Brown.
"I think you could really tell by the end of the trip, everyone was playing really well - back on form," Ardell said. "I'm excited to see how the next few weeks transpire."
The team has also added to its deep rotation with the addition of transfer Nelson Hargrove '13.5 from the University of North Carolina, whom Ardell said he believes will have an immediate impact on the team.
"This is definitely the best team that I've been on," Ardell said. "We've been towards the bottom of the Ivies for the past few years, so we have something to prove."
Bruno will have its first look at the Ivy League competition this upcoming weekend April 7 and 8 during the Yale Invitational.
"It's the opening of Ivy League play and will be a good barometer of how we're going to match up," Hughes said.
Hughes said he expects the progress made during the fall and the growing cohesiveness of the team will bode well for the rest of the team's spring campaign.
"This is pretty much going to be the team for next year, too," Hughes said. "If we can keep our heads about us, I think we can surprise some people."