First-year Nate Belkin Leads Jeffs at Middlebury

First-year Nate Belkin finished in a tie for second place in a field of 116 golfers.
MIDDLEBURY, VT – The Amherst College men’s golf team shot a 617 to place sixth in a field of 22 teams at Middlebury College’s 25th annual Duke Nelson Invitational. The Lord Jeffs shot a 306 on Sunday to climb the ranks after their day-one total of 311 left them in a tie for 14th place. Skidmore College took home the team title as the only school to shoot below 300 on both Saturday and Sunday.

The Jeffs’ improvement from Saturday to Sunday was not as drastic as their improvement from 2007 to 2008, as last year’s Amherst squad placed 23rd among 26 teams at the Duke Nelson Invite by shooting a 663. Amherst had no golfer place in the top 50 during last year’s two-day event, but this time around the Jeffs placed three golfers in the top 50, including a pair in the top 10.

Leading the way for Amherst was first-year Nate Belkin (Needham, MA), whose 147 left him just three strokes behind the leader and in a tie for second place. Belkin left the performance from his collegiate debut in the dust, as last week he shot a 78-86-164 to finish in a tie for 32nd at the Trinity Invitational.

Close behind Belkin was sophomore Trip Wray (Walpole, MA), who also saw drastic improvements from just a week ago. After shooting a 76 on Saturday, Wray was one of just five golfers to shoot lower than a 74 on Sunday, as his 149 landed him in a four-way tie for eighth place. Last week, Wray shot a 79-84-163 to finish tied for 28th.

Next up for Amherst was senior tri-captain Chris Valentine (Topsfield, MA), who lowered his day-one total by three strokes to finish in a tie for 50th with an 81-78-159. Fellow tri-captain Will Collins (Edina, MN) was just three strokes behind and also shot better on Sunday than on Saturday (82-80-162).

Rounding out the Amherst squad and making their collegiate debuts were first-years Peter Theiss (Wilmette, IL) and Matt Parsons (Wilmette, IL), who shot a 170 and 171, respectively. Despite wet conditions, Amherst was one of only five teams to shoot a lower score on Sunday than on Saturday, as the team’s five-stroke improvement tied Castleton for the best turnaround of the weekend.

The Lord Jeffs return to action Saturday, Sept. 20 when they kick off the Williams College Invitational.


Top Team Scores
1. Skidmore (294-299-593)
T2. NYU (304-302-606)
T2. Trinity (286-320-606)
4. Salem State (305-306-611)
5. Middlebury-White (309-307-616)
6. Amherst (311-306-617)

Amherst Individual Scores
T2. Nate Belkin (72-75-147)
T8. Trip Wray (76-73-149)
T50. Chris Valentine (81-78-159)
T73. Will Collins (82-80-162)
T100. Peter Theiss (84-86-170)
T104. Matt Parsons (82-89-171)

Top Individual Scores
1. Alex Hopson, NYU (69-75-144)
T2. Nate Belkin, Amherst (72-75-147)
T2. Nick Antonelli, Salem State (75-72-147)
T2. Joe Flowers, Skidmore (73-74-147)
T5. Taylor Wetherby, RPI (74-74-148)
T5. Chris DeJohn, Skidmore (71-77-148)
T5. Alec MacColl, Trinity (71-77-148)