Golf finishes strong at NWC finals

Grant Laco, Staff Writer

The Men’s and Women’s golf teams both had solid outings at the NWC Fall Classic over the weekend of Oct. 10-11. The tournament was the last of the fall season for both teams, providing each with insight for the Spring.

The women’s team capped a phenomenal fall season with a third place finish at the tournament, having three golfers place in the top seven: Sophomore Phoebe Nguyen in 4th place, senior Alyssa Maine in 6th, and first-year Shiyang Fan.

Coming into the fall classic, the team had the lowest stroke average that they’d had since Maine’s first year on the team, setting a few Whitman team records along the way. Shiyang set the new single-round record of 70 earlier in the season, and Phoebe hit a new school record for 36 holes with one-under par in a recent tournament.

The immensely successful fall season bodes well for the spring, when junior Lou Points will return to the team after studying abroad this spring. The return of Points will bring even more firepower to the already explosive team.

“We’re all looking forward to getting Lou back – another leader – and just rockin’ and rollin’ in the spring,” Maine said.

Assistant Athletics Director and Coach Skip Molitor also is optimistic about the team’s prospects next semester.

“In the spring there is a good chance they’ll have the best women’s golf team that Whitman’s ever had,” said Molitor. “They’re a fun group to work with, they get along really well, [and] they approach their preparation and their practice very diligently.”

Alyssa noted her goal for the upcoming spring season is to extend the season past conference play.

“The perfect way to end my senior year [would be] a trip to Houston for nationals,” she said.

The men’s team also had an overall successful fall season, despite being in a very different place from the women’s team in terms of dynamics. They have a relatively new team, with two new players this year: sophomore Andrew Schwartz and first-year Carl Felstiner. Given the youth of the team, they are focused mainly on improving and developing their tournament experience. The men’s team ended up placing 8th at the NWC Fall Classic.

Schwartz had never played competitive golf before the start of the season, but decided that he wanted to play with the team this year. Head Men’s Golf Coach Peter McClure welcomed him onto the team along with Felstiner.

“[Carl has] gone in all the way, got himself some good equipment, and has really improved since the start of the season,” McClure said.

Felstiner played in high school, and has put together some solid golf this fall.

Senior Captain Daniel Hoffman has himself had a great fall season, including a spectacular finish at the NWC Fall Classic where he put up a birdie and a hole-in-one to finish the second round.

Hoffman reflected on his fall season as a learning and growing experience for the team.

“First off, I think this semester was crucial for getting newcomers more tournament experience,” said Hoffman. “We are a very young team and can use as much tournament play as possible. I know that each golfer can play much better next semester and that many of us were left disappointed about how the season ended. We’ll need to hit the ground running and make sure to keep pushing ourselves to get better every day.”

McClure shared similar thoughts.

“Of course we always want to score better,” McClure said. “That’s one of our goals for the season.”

The steady improvement sets a great tone for the spring semester for the men’s team.

“I’m looking forward to next spring, the guys are eager to go,” said McClure. “I feel like we’re at a good place. Everyone wants to get better … they try on every shot. I didn’t see anyone quit [this season] … that’s all you can ask for, that everyone gives it their all on every shot.”