On their final hole of the match, third and fourth seeds Harry Choi ’19 and Yeetang Kwok ’20 stuck their approach shots within eight feet and proceeded to secure a pivotal team point. Several strong performances, including Choi’s and Kwok’s, helped Andover Golf secure an 8-4 win in its season opener over Tabor.
In its first match of the season, Andover had to navigate the historic Kittansett Club golf course, known for its difficult terrain and typically windy weather. Both teams also had to deal with a quick rule change prior to beginning the match, and were forced to transition to playing fourteen holes instead of the usual eighteen.
Captain Alexa Tsay ’17 said, “It was [really] cold and the conditions were really windy on Saturday, so the Tabor coach and our coach decided to shorten [the match] just for the sake of weather.”
Although slightly hindered by the inclement conditions, an all-around team effort helped the squad win its first match. John Witt ’18, Derrick Brown ’20, Ben Ringer ’18, Choi, and Kwok all contributed individual victories, and the team secured three out of a possible four best ball points.
Captain Alexa Tsay ’17 said, “Since we’ve only been practicing for a few weeks now and courses haven’t been open, I didn’t really know what to expect from our lineup, but all the newcomers did really well. We had a lot of wins, which was good.”
Head Coach Brian Faulk wrote in an email to The Phillipian, “We won, and it was nice to see many of the newcomers contribute in their first match of their Andover careers. Nithish Kalpat chipped in twice to demoralize his opponent while Yeetang Kwok and Harry Choi knocked approach shots close to the hole to close our their team match.”
Tsay added, “Tabor has had more [practice] rounds than we had so it was good that we still won, even though we haven’t been able to practice [on the course] as much.”
Tsay lauded Witt’s strong performance on the golf course in his first matchup of the season. Witt, the second seed for Andover, defeated his opponent in a lopsided 6&5 win.
Witt attributed his victory to being able to maintain his focus on the course, while playing within his limits.
Witt said, “My strategy was to just try to make as many pars as I could. I tried to aim for the center of greens and take less than driver off the tee whenever possible.”
“I roughly succeeded in my goal — I had seven pars out of the fourteen holes that we played, and as a result I outlasted my opponent who was a little more flustered by the cold and windy conditions,” added Witt.
After its first victory of the season, Andover looks to continue its success as it moves into more competitive matches against tougher opponents.
Faulk wrote, “[It] seems like the team really has a wonderful spirit and sense of camaraderie. [I] think that will pay dividends later in the season.”
Tsay added, “It’s really good to see a lot of newcomers step up, and I’m excited to see where we go this season.”
With it’s match against Phillips Exeter Academy cancelled due to inclement weather, Andover will look to defeat Belmont Hill on Thursday.