In its first tournament away from its home course on Saturday, Andover Golf placed second behind Deerfield Academy and ahead of Northfield Mount Hermon. Andover now holds a 1-3 record.
According to Alexander Smyth ’24, Saturday’s tournament took on a unique format compared to previous matches.
“Unlike any of the other matches we’ve played this year, it was a stroke-play match, so we took 5 of 6 scores instead of playing individual matches,” said Smyth.
Not only did the tournament take on a new set of rules, but according to Co-Captain Griffin Hout ’21, it also held his best showing in his Andover Golf career.
“I had the best round I’ve ever had in competition in my two years playing golf at Andover, so I was definitely happy with my individual performance,” said Hout.
Smyth said that despite certain aspects of his game being strong over the weekend, he is still looking to improve on his putting during the upcoming week of practice.
“My iron game was really good, so I was really happy with that, and I think that will help me against [Phillips Exeter Academy] putting [the ball] close [to the hole]. My putting wasn’t amazing, but I think that once I improve that, I’ll be good to go for Exeter,” said Smyth.
According to Tyler Parker ’23, inter-scholastic competitions add pressure which tests the mental ability of athletes. Additionally, Hout believes that no matter the result, competitive matches will help the very young team in future years.
“It’s a whole different part of the game. You have to really focus and not get nervous because that can negatively affect your game. You just have to play your own game and not worry about anything else,” said Parker.
“We have a very young and inexperienced team for the most part, and I think the best way to develop a team is to get match experience. I wish we would have had more matches for our younger players to get that experience this year, but at least everybody is getting to play in a few matches and get that valuable experience to where hopefully the team can be better off next year,” added Hout.
Andover’s next two matches are both against Exeter and according to Smyth, Andover’s loss in its season opener against its rivals has helped the team understand what to expect in the next two matches against them.
Smyth said, “I’m excited because we’re playing Exeter two more times in a row. We faced them once this season; they were our first match and I think we got a good look as to what their strengths and weaknesses were. They have a very strong lineup, but we actually have a good opportunity to take them over at the bottom half of their ladder. It’ll be a close match, but I think we can [defeat them].”
Hoping to return to winning ways, Andover will seek revenge heading into its next match against Exeter this Saturday at home.