Despite trailing Phillips Exeter Academy by 31 strokes after two rounds in the medal play race for the Witherspoon Cup, Andover Golf narrowly lost to Exeter in a match play competition 4-3 on Saturday.
The Witherspoon Cup is awarded to the team with the lowest stroke total in the Andover/Exeter/Governor’s tri-matches over the course of the season. There also exists a match play competition between Andover and Exeter over two different matches, and the winner of that competition is awarded the Lovell Cup. Andover currently holds both Cups.
On Saturday, Exeter took a 20 stroke lead over Andover and a 39 stroke lead over Governor’s, and on Wednesday, it extended its lead to 31 strokes over Andover and 77 over Governor’s.
Key contributor and number two seed Alexa Tsay ’17 missed both matches this week with a back injury.
Drew DiGeronimo ’15 was once again exceptional on Saturday, sinking five birdies en route to a three-over 75.
Captain Tyler Tsay ’15 also managed to score well, despite struggling to convert all his chances on the putting green, firing a seven over 79.
On Sunday night, Ellie Blum ’15 and Darcy Burnham ’18 traveled to the Pippy O’Connor Independent School Girls Golf Classic at the Agawam Hunt Club in Rumford, RI.
Both performed well in their respective sections, with Blum placing fifth with an 81 and Burnham earning an eighth place finish in the nine-hole division.
Blum struck the ball well with her irons but struggled to make the round-changing putts.
Blum said, “The Girls Golf Invitational is always my favorite event of the year. I finished in fifth which was the best I’ve ever placed, and that was super exciting. More than anything it was a fun way to wrap up my high school career against some of the same people I’ve been playing in the prep school league and over the summer for the last few years.”
Andover entered Wednesday’s tri-match looking to regain some of the ground on its arch rival, Exeter. The match was a nine-hole affair.
Conditions were not optimal, with high-speed winds affecting ball flight. Additionally, Ould Newbury, the home course of Governor’s, boasted firm, small greens.
Tyler Tsay’s iron play was consistent, but once again he struggled to make critical putts. Tyler Tsay said, “[Wednesday] was windy, and the greens were small. I didn’t convert as many putts as I wanted to, much like my round on Saturday. It’s something I’ll be working on going into the last leg of our Exeter and Governor’s matches.” Despite this, Tyler Tsay still managed to shoot a solid 39.
DiGeronimo could not match his performance from Saturday but still scored well despite erratic drives off the tee, which led to difficult second shots.
Addison Davenport ’15 contributed a strong card to Andover’s stroke play total, shooting a six-over 41.
“It was a tricky course – lots of wind. The team played well under the circumstances, but there was no winner or loser because of the stroke play,” said Davenport.
Head Coach Brian D. Faulk ’00 said, “It was a tough course in windy conditions. [Tyler Tsay] shot 39 and [Davenport] fired a 41 – really good scores all things considered. We look forward to Saturday and continuing the competition.”
Andover looks to mount its comeback against Exeter this Saturday at Breakfast Hill Golf Course in Greenland, NH.