Andover Falls to Exeter; Rivals Take Home Witherspoon Bowl

Andover Golf struggled to score last Saturday in extremely difficult conditions at Portsmouth Country Club, as Andover conceded both the Witherspoon Bowl and the Lovell Cup to a surging Exeter top seven. Winds gusting at over 30 miles per hour combined with bumpy and slow aerated greens to make low scores almost impossible, as Andover lost by 14 strokes to Exeter in stroke play and lost 8-6 in match play. Andover teed off at Portsmouth with high hopes, as it held a solid 4-3 lead in match play and was only three strokes back in the stroke play competition. Meanwhile, Ben Ho ’11 held a slim one-stroke lead in the annual quest for the Mangan Award, an award given to the individual with the lowest combined score after two rounds of play. Ho went off at the one spot for Andover, but struggled to control his trajectory in the heavy winds and could only manage an 87. Although he tied his match, Ho could not hold onto his lead, and conceded the Mangan Award for the second year in a row after leading through two rounds. Stephen Winslow ’10 went off from the two spot, leading Andover with a solid 82. Winslow overcame a rough start to his day, shooting eight over par through his first 10 holes and rallied back to win his match. After building up a large lead in match play, James Poss ’10 struggled over his last five holes with his short game and finished with a 90, tying his opponent. Chris Kerrigan went off from the four spot and shot a 92, losing to a talented Exeter opponent 3 and 2. Will Lindsey ’10, Andrew Lee ’10, and Dylan Cahill ’10 rounded out Andover’s top seven, but struggled collectively. Cahill had the best score of the three, finishing the day with a 93. Although Andover did not achieve its goal of winning the Witherspoon Bowl and Lovell Cup, the team showed signs of improvement throughout the year, which was exactly what Coach Brian Faulk was looking for. Captain Billy Fowkes ’10 said, “We had a really fun season–I think everyone is happy with the overall result. We came pretty close to beating Exeter, and I think that next year our guys might be able to do so. I was happy to end my four years at P.A. with such a fun golf season.” Looking ahead to next year, the team selected Ho and Kerrigan as Co-Captains for the 2011 season. Both golfers had outstanding seasons and look to lead the team to victory next year over perennial rivals Deerfield and Exeter. Kerrigan commented about the transition to next season, “Although we didn’t reach the outcome that we were hoping for against Exeter, all we can do now is hit the range in the off season and prepare for next year.” Coach Faulk said, “I think we will be in good shape next year as we try to compete with Deerfield and Exeter.” Andover’s returning players for next season will look to build on their success this year and come away with the coveted Witherspoon Bowl and Lovell Cup.