Alexa Tsay ’17 addressed her putt on the 13th hole of the Breakfast Hill Club in Greenland, NH. Her Phillips Exeter Academy opponent, Charlie Dubiel ’17, had just drained a 40-foot putt, and the pressure was on Alexa Tsay to match with a birdie of her own in order to maintain her lead. Alexa Tsay took an aggressive line, and her 43-foot putt rolled true, breaking left before dropping into the center of the cup.
Victories from Alexa Tsay and Peter Hahn ’16 served as the only bright spots for Andover on Saturday, with the luck falling towards Andover’s rivals in a competitive series of matches. Andover lost 5.5-1.5 in match play and by 27 strokes in the cumulative stroke play. Each match play loss, however, was decided on the final three holes.
Alexa Tsay fired a field low 71 in her first time playing Breakfast Hill, but tied Dubiel in the match. “I was playing the best I had all season. I drained five birdies. I was striking the ball really well, and even though I beat him by two strokes in medal play, I couldn’t close out the match play,” she said.
Head Coach Brian D. Faulk ’00 said, “Alexa [Tsay] was outstanding with a solid 71. [It was] impressive that at a new course she was able to fire a round of even par. Tyler [Tsay ’15] and Peter also turned in strong performances.”
Captain Tyler Tsay fired a 79 in his final Andover match. Despite heading into the 17th hole with a tie, he was unable to combat a strong Exeter opponent and lost one down.
Tyler Tsay wrote in an email to The Phillipian, “It was a very tight match. We exchanged birdies from 13-16 and were all square into the 17th. It was just a bad tee shot off 17 that broke it. My personal highlight was a 60 yard chip in on 13 after hitting it into the water for birdie.”
Third seed Drew DiGeronimo ’15 turned in an 82, but struggled on the back nine. He said, “Saturday was an interesting day on the links. The weather was pretty good and I had a solid front nine, but then struggled on the back. I had trouble all day getting off the tee and ended up losing my match 3&2.”
DiGeronimo also captured the Kazikas Award, given to Andover’s best player in stroke play over the course of the year. A new face on the team as a Post-Graduate, DiGeronimo’s play was a welcome surprise this season.
Digeronimo said, “Winning the Kazikas award was a huge honor. I was very happy with the way I played in our medal play matches this year. It was cool seeing some of the names on the cup, including Coach Faulk. Overall it was a nice way to end an awesome season of golf.”
With the loss, Andover failed to retain the Witherspoon and Lovell Cups. The Witherspoon is awarded to the team with the lowest stroke total in the Andover/Exeter/Governor’s tri-matches over the course of the season. The Lovell cup goes to the match-play competition between Andover and Exeter.
Despite the loss, Andover was satisfied with its effort versus Exeter. Alexa Tsay said, “We knew going into the match it would be very tough competition. Exeter is a very strong team and has done a lot of recruiting in the past year. I think that we did a good job pulling through and playing the best that we could.”
The loss in the tri-match brought Andover’s record to 4-3-2 for the season.
Editor’s Note: Peter Hahn ’16 is a Sports Editor for The Phillipian.