Andover Falls in Tiebreaker

After a fifth place finish in the Andover Invitational on Saturday, April 30th, Andover Golf rebounded with a 6.5-0.5 victory over St. Mark’s on Wednesday, May 4th. The team struggled this week, suffering a devastating loss on a tiebreaker against Deerfield on Saturday, and then finishing second behind B.B.&N on Wednesday.

After traveling to Newport, Rhode Island for the Andover Invitational, the team didn’t meet expectations. “Coming into the tournament all of us had high expectations,” said co-captain Ben Ho ’11. “Although we didn’t get the results that we hoped for, we all really enjoyed the day. It was a great treat to be able to play on a course as challenging and as prestigious as Newport.” With only Ho shooting under 80, firing a 77, Andover finished fifth out of eight teams.

Following the mediocre finish at the Andover Invitational, Andover cruised to victory over St. Mark’s. Ho, Kavan Canekeratne ’14, Charlie Pecora ’12, and Shin-Jae Lee ’13 decisively won their matches, while co-captain Chris Kerrigan ’11 and John Perkins ’13 both earned victories on the last hole. Wattana tied her match to round out the 6.5 – 0.5 victory.

Last Saturday, Andover faced a tough Deerfield squad. Led by wins from Canekeratne, Kerrigan, and Wattana, who maintained her undefeated record with this win, the team played spectacularly and forced a tiebreaker. Deerfield’s seventh escaped with a narrow win over Pecora as a tiebreaker point to give Deerfield the victory.

“We gave Deerfield a serious run for their money,” said Kerrigan. “Even though we couldn’t take home a win, it was certainly a confidence boost for the team, and gave us hope for defeating Exeter and Governor’s in the coming matches.” Ho lost only his second match of the season against Deerfield.

On Wednesday, Andover took on B.B.&N. and Middlesex in a stroke play tri-match. Despite good nines from Perkins and Evan Kudlinski ’13, both Ho and Canekeratne had mediocre days, shooting 41 and 42 respectively. While Andover’s top two struggled, BB&N’s top two played solid golf and shot scores of 35 and 37, sealing the victory for BB&N. Andover narrowly nudged out third place Middlesex by one stroke. The team had an 11 stroke lead over Middlesex going into the final match, but Middlesex’s seventh shot an outstanding 40 to reduce Andover’s lead to one. “Today was certainly not our best match,” said Kerrigan. “Our opponents played well, but I think we really should have taken it to them. Saturday is day one of our three day tournament with Exeter and Governor’s, so we look forward to the next two days of practice before the cut-throat stroke-play competition against our rivals.”

In Andover’s upcoming match, the team looks to rally behind their two captains for composure and confidence. “We have a talented, tight group this year,” said Ho. “I think that everyone has found their rhythm and we just need to continue what we are doing to finish the season strong. As long as we can continue to make proper decisions on course and minimize our mistakes, I think we have an excellent chance of bringing home both the Witherspoon and Lovell trophies.”