The Amherst golf teams took to the links for the last time in 2022 this past weekend, with both teams competing at the New England Intercollegiate Golf Association (NEIGA) Championship on Oct. 15 and 16. The men’s team took third in the field of 22 teams, while the women rallied from a poor showing on day one to take second place in their 11-team competition.
Backing up their first tournament win in four years a couple of weeks ago, the Mammoths have found another gear of late, finishing in the top five of a tournament for the third straight week at the 2022 NEIGA Championship.
This week, it was the team’s first-years that led the way as the team returned to Amherst with a third-place finish. Mark Vitels ’26 was the top finisher for the Mammoths on the weekend, with a 1-over-73 on Sunday that secured him 13th place with a two-day total of 146, four strokes over par. Fellow first-year Paari Kaviyarasu ’26 nabbed the second-highest placement on the team, recording a two-day total of 149 after leading the Mammoths with a 1-under-71 on day one, tying for 17th place. Not far behind, John Beskid ’26 finished his Sunday round with a 76, netting him a total of 155 for the tournament, 11 over par, and tying him for 40th overall.
Sophomore Steven Chen ’25 continued his good form this weekend, coming in 23rd with a two-day total of 150 (6 over par, with two rounds scoring a 75). Classmate Teddy Freking ’25 was the other Mammoth to score, carding an 88 on Sunday.
Over the course of the weekend, the Mammoths shot a collective 597 for the tournament, with a 295 on Saturday and a 302 on Sunday. This performance left them nine strokes behind NESCAC rival Middlebury in second place, and 18 strokes back of tournament champion Babson.
The NEIGA Championship was the Mammoths’ final tournament of 2022. The team will take the winter off before returning to play in five months, in March 2023.
On the back of first-year Kaia Wu ’26, the Mammoths stormed back from a nine-stroke day one deficit to nearly take the NEIGA Championship title before ultimately falling just short and finishing second.
Wu carded one of her best rounds of her rookie season on Sunday, recording a 1 over 73 to begin the Mammoths’ charge to take down first-place Williams. She birdied on both the eighth and 18th holes during her stellar round, which was a nine-stroke improvement over her Saturday score. She finished the weekend with a two-day total of 155 (11-over par) which tied her for 10th overall.
Classmate Lindsay Huang ’26 and junior Priya Bakshi ’24 also put in strong rounds on Sunday, both scoring 4 over 76. Bakshi and teammate Jessica Huang ’25 both put in two-day totals of 151, with Bakshi’s rounds of 76 and 77 and Huang’s 73, 78 weekend tying the two Mammoths for third place overall. Gihoe Seo ’25 was the final Amherst golfer to score, with a one-birdie round of 6 over 78 netting her a 13th place finish with a 12-over-156 total score.
The team’s efforts and a day-two team score of 303 gave them a two-stroke lead late in the day on Sunday; however, it was not enough, as the Ephs regained the top spot and ended the tournament only two strokes ahead of the Mammoths. The second-place finish was the Mammoths’ second in two weeks, after falling to Williams in the NESCAC Fall Qualifier last weekend (Oct. 8 and 9).
As with the men’s team, the NEIGA Championship was the Mammoths’ final tournament of 2022. They will take the winter off to rest before returning to the course in March of 2023.