Consistently one of the top teams in the league, Belmont Hill has proved tough to beat over the past few years and Andover Golf lost 6.5-5.5 to the powerhouse last Thursday.
With a talented ladder consisting of eight dominant players, Belmont Hill challenged Andover’s players with extremely difficult individual matches.
“There was a lot of anticipation going into the match against Belmont Hill because we have lost to them for the past few years, so we all took our roles very seriously,” said Ellie Blum ’15. “At the end, Belmont Hill just had a really strong lineup. We’ll play very few teams on that level for the rest of the season.”
Andover sunk a few crucial birdies throughout the course of the match. Co-Captain John Perkins ’13 and Evan Kudlinski ’13 had a stretch of five birdies throughout six holes.
Although Perkins scored four of the five birdies, Blum had a critical birdie on the ninth hole to win Andover a valued half-point.
The top of the lineup played especially well, with two wins from Perkins and
Tyler Tsay ’15 and two ties from Kudlinski and Kavan Canekeratne ’14.
Perkins has started out the season excellently, not losing any of his individual matches. This week was Tsay’s second individual match win of the season.
Tsay currently averages 1.3 on the lineup because of his frequent individual match wins and consistent play in practice.
“I always spend the most time on putting, since I consider it the most important part of the game,” said Tsay. “It definitely paid off [during our] match against Belmont Hill; I was much better on the greens.”
Overall, the bottom of the lineup struggled against the lower ladder players for Belmont Hill. Losses included Blum, Casey Durant ’14, Co-Captain Shin-Jae Lee ’13 and Luke Stidham ’14.
“I think everyone tried to play their best, but unfortunately we came up on the losing end of a close match,” said Perkins.
“This match shows us that we still have things to work on as a team, and this gives us some motivation moving forward,” Perkins added. “Everyone is looking forward to the Deerfield match, so hopefully we can continue to improve as a team and be better in the future.”
Andover got a dominant bounce-back win against Holderness on Wednesday at its home course 11.5-0.5.
Tsay, Perkins, Canakeratne, Blum, Durant and Billy Casagrande ’15 all had strong wins. Kudlinski came up with a tie at the end.
“I think the whole team felt very confident going into the match, and we played with confidence. Most matches didn’t take the full nine to win. For example, I won five up with
four to play. [Blum] won four up with three to play. The other groups had similar situations,” said Casagrande.
Andover is using its next three matches to prepare for its home match against Deerfield on May 4. Being just a few strokes better will make the difference against the team’s rival.
For the time being, Andover is preparing to play Proctor on its home course at Indian Ridge Country Club on Wednesday.