NEW YORK – The Columbia men’s golf team will look to cap a solid 2013 spring campaign this weekend when it heads to Owings Mill, Md. to compete at the Ivy League Championships from April 26-28.
Caves Valley Golf Club will serve as the host course for the 2013 Ivy League Championships. The first round will see the first groupings tee off from holes No. 1 and 10 at 8 a.m. Friday morning. Second-round action will commence at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, with the third and final round beginning at 8 a.m. Sunday.
The eight Ivy League teams are no strangers to each other, as all eight competed just two weeks ago at the Princeton Invitational. The Lions posted their best finish as a team at that event, taking fourth out of 14 teams. Columbia edged defending Ivy League champion Penn by one stroke, 877-878, at the 54-hole tournament. Yale captured the team title for the fourth consecutive year, placing two individuals in the top five. Princeton finished three strokes back (871) of the Bulldogs to claim third.
Prior to the Princeton Invitational, seven of the Ancient Eight, excluding Harvard, met in New Haven, Conn. for the one-day, 36-hole Yale Spring Opener. The Elis were once again the top Ivy League finisher, claiming second. Princeton finished in a tie for fourth overall, two strokes ahead of sixth-place Penn (598-600). The Lions came in just three strokes behind the Quakers, carding a 603. Princeton’s Bernie D’Amato took individual medalist honors with a two-round score of 141, one stroke ahead of a pair of golfers from Villanova.
As individuals, the Lions have placed five student-athletes in the top 10 of respective tournaments this spring. Sophomore Brandon Jowers and first-year Harrison Shih tied for fourth and seventh, respectively, at the Yale Invitational, with Shih following that performance with a fifth-place showing at the Princeton Invitational. Senior Ford Fischer also claimed a top-10 finish at the Princeton tournament, coming in tied for seventh. In the final tournament of the regular season for the Lions, Jowers secured his second top 10 of the season, tying for eighth, shooting one-over par at the WolfPack Spring Open hosted by N.C. State.
According to the latest GolfStat.com rankings, the Lions enter this weekend with a 303.42 average score, which places them sixth in the conference standings. Yale holds a slight edge over Princeton in this category, shooting an average team score of 286.65 to Princeton’s 296.8.
In the individual rankings, Shih’s average round score of 74.53 is the seventh lowest in the Ivy League. The Columbia first-year posted the conference’s lowest single round score of the entire year, shooting a 65 during the final round of the McLaughlin on Sep. 16, 2012 on Bethpage’s Red Course. Yale’s Sam Bernstein is the conference leader in low round average at 72.63. Max Marsico (Penn, 73.06), Theodore Lederhausen (Harvard, 73.36), Quin Prchal (Princeton, 73.8) and Greg Jarmas (Princeton, 74.20) round out the top five.
At the 2012 Ivy League Championship, the Lions finished in third, led by the second-place performance of current senior Michael Yiu. The Laguna Hills, Calif. native shot an eight-over 221 at the Galloway National Golf Club. Yiu earned First Team All-Ivy League honors for his performance and was later selected to the PING All-Northeast Region Team. This year’s championship will be the fourth straight that Yiu has participated in, including being a member of the 2010 title-winning squad. Fischer was also in the lineup as a first-year and will be competing in his third Ivy League Championship.
Columbia last won the Ivy League title in 2010. It was the third consecutive championship for the Lions, and the fourth overall in the program’s history.