NEW YORK – The Ivy League golf season comes to a head this weekend at Baltusrol Golf Course in Springfield, N.J., as the eight conference schools will come together to compete in the 2014 Championships from April 25-27.
Columbia competed four times this spring, including a team title at the Wildcat Invitational hosted by Villanova on April 1. The Lions other top-five finish this spring came at the Princeton Invitational when they took fourth in the 15-team event. The last time out, Columbia finished13th at the rain-shortened Wolfpack Spring Open.
Junior Brandon Jowers heads into the Ivy Championships as the top-ranked golfer in the Ancient Eight. The Shalimar, Fla., native has the lowest scoring average at 71.58 and a 0.84 score against par in 19 rounds of action. His scoring average is on pace to be the lowest since the 1993-94 season. Jowers best finish this season was second at The Doc Gimmler held at the Bethpage Red Course in the fall, shooting 68-66-66—200. The back-to-back 66’s are Jowers’ lowest scores this year.
Sophomore Harrison Shih is the fifth-ranked golfer in the conference with a 72.26 average. His best round was also a 66 at The Doc Gimmler, but his top finish has been a pair of third-place showings at the Patriot Collegiate and Wildcat Invitational.
Senior Andrew Kim, and first-years Christopher Chu and Arjuna Anday all rank in the top-15 of the Ancient Eight heading into the Ivy Championships. Anday is the only one of the three to crack the top 10 at a tournament this season, taking seventh at the Stars and Stripes Invitational.
As a team, the 2013-14 season has been among the most dominant for Columbia golf. The Lions 290.89 per round scoring average is the lowest in program history by 6.25 strokes since Golf Stat began tracking such marks in 1993-94.
Yale leads the pack heading into the Ivy Championships, sporting a No. 67 national ranking. The Bulldogs earned wins this year at The Doc Gimmler and the Ivy League Match Play event, while also finishing as the runner-up at The MacDonald Cup, The Met Intercollegiate, the Princeton Invitational and the Yale Spring Invitational.
Sam Bernstein and Will Davenport are ranked second and third, respectively, in the Ivy League. Bernstein is the only other golfer besides Jowers with a score versus par under one at 0.95 and scoring average under 72 at 71.84. Davenport is just shy of the 72 mark at 72.05 in 19 rounds.
Harvard enters the weekend ranked No. 126 nationally and second in the Ivy League. The Crimson are riding high heading to Baltusrol, coming off consecutive wins at the Princeton Invitational and the Yale Spring Invitational. First-year Robert Deng holds a 1.43 score against par to rank fourth in the conference.
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
MEN'S CHAMPIONSHIP (playing the lower course - Par 70, 6,986 yds.)
Friday: 8 a.m. start (all tee from No. 1)
Saturday: 11:30 a.m. start (all tee from No. 1)
Sunday: 8 a.m. start (all tee from No. 1)