Jeffs Match Williams, Lose Little Three Title on Tiebreaker

Contact: Matthew Hart

AMHERST, Mass. – The Amherst College men’s golf team lost the 2013 Little Three title to archrival Williams College by virtue of a tiebreaker on Wednesday, as the Lord Jeffs and Ephs tied with six points apiece but Williams took the crown thanks to a greater scoring differential in the event’s various matches.

In the unique day-long competition at Hickory Ridge Golf Club, Amherst, Williams and Wesleyan competed in foursome alternate-shot matches in the morning, with both the Jeffs and Ephs sweeping the Cardinals 4-0 before Amherst notched a 2.5-1.5 win over Williams.

The afternoon saw the squads go head-to-head in singles match play. With eight golfers competing per team, the Jeffs and Ephs once again blanked Wesleyan for 12-0 cumulative victories, but Williams took a 4.5-3.5 decision in its showdown with Amherst to create the 6-6 tie at the end of the day.

Between the contests with both rivals, sophomores Jarvis Sill and Josh Moser and first-year James Line each won all four possible points while senior Alex Butensky secured 3.5 points for the Jeffs.

In the morning alternate shot matchup with Wesleyan, Amherst’s Brandon Brown ’15 and Erik Hansen ’14 beat the Cardinals’ Ryan Marvick and Nikhil Lai (6&4) while Butensky and Line topped Justin Gitlin and Jared Goldenberg (6&4), Sill and Moser edged Donald Kleckner and Wes Fantini, and Ben Johnston ’13 and Nicholas Koh ’14 beat Brad Improta and Tommy Hartnett (4&3).

The Jeffs also came out ahead in their foursomes play with Williams led by Butensky and Line’s win over Wyatt Sparks and Jack Ervasti (6&4) along with Sill and Moser’s triumph of Matt McCarron and Cody Semmelrock (4&2). The Ephs grabbed a point as Jake Goldenring and Max Elgart edged Brown and Hansen (5&4) while Johnston and Koh halved with Dylan Dethier and Jake Abrahams to create the 2.5-1.5 Jeff win.

In afternoon match play, the Jeffs completed the eight-man shutout of Wesleyan as Brown topped Goldenberg (4&2), Line edged Gitlin (8&7), Moser beat Lai (6&5), and Hansen stopped Fantini (7&5). Completing the clean sheet, Butensky beat Marvick (6&4), Sill topped Improta (6&4), Johnston won over Hartnett (2&1), and Koh clipped Kleckner (7&6).

The Jeffs’ morning success against the Ephs couldn’t carry over to singles competition, however, as the Ephs picked up the 4.5-3.5 win. Sill beat McCarron (2&1), Moser edged Sparks (6&5), and Line topped Ervasti (two-up) while Butensky halved with Semmerock for the Jeffs’ 3.5 points. Elgart topped Brown (4&3), however, and the Ephs picked up three more points as Abrahams beat Hansen (7&6), Goldenring downed Johnston (5&4) and Dethier clipped Koh (one-up) to secure the Ephs’ afternoon victory.

With Williams amassing a greater differential in its match wins (17) than Amherst (15), the tiebreaker gave the Ephs the title after Amherst had ended a 14-year run of Williams crowns in last year’s competition.

The championship marked the conclusion of Amherst’s spring schedule, ending the collegiate careers of senior captains Butensky and Johnston.