As spring hit New England, the men’s and women’s golf teams hit the links of Western Massachusetts in a pair of two-day tournaments this past weekend, Saturday, April 23 and Sunday, April 24. The women came third place in their home tournament, the Leaman Invitational, hosted at the Crumpin-Fox Club in Bernardston, Massachusetts, near the Vermont border. The men finished sixth in the Williams Invite at the Taconic Golf Club in Williamstown, Massachusetts.
The No. 9 women’s team took to the course for what was just their second outing of the spring season at the Leaman Invitational. Through the first 18 holes, played on Saturday, the Mammoths put up a strong showing. First-year Jessica Huang ’25 put up the Mammoths’ best score of the day. She shot a 75, good for three over on the par-72 course. That score put her in ninth place in a field of 59 after day one.
It was the Mammoths’ depth that proved their strong point on the first day of play, though. All five golfers competing for Amherst finished in the top 10 overall. Gihoe Seo ’25 and Jenny Hua ’24 each sat just one shot back of Huang at four-over, while Janelle Jin ’23 and Priya Bakshi ’24 were just one more back with 77s on the day.
The team’s combined scores were good for second place overall — just one shot back of first-place Williams, with NYU lurking three shots behind them.
The Mammoths had a somewhat tougher outing on the second day of play. Huang again brought her best stuff, going even lower than she did on day one with a 74 (two-over) to claim third overall in the tournament. Over 36 holes, she finished just two shots back of the leaders, who settled matters in a playoff. Bakshi also continued to play well, shooting a 75 and finishing sixth overall. It was a tougher day for Seo and Jin, who both shot eight-over. The results bumped the Mammoths back to third place overall.
The third-place finish, coming off a second-place at the Vassar Invitational last weekend, bodes well for the Mammoths heading into the NESCAC Championships next weekend, which will be hosted at Amherst Golf Club, just south of Amherst Campus.
The men’s team headed to Williamstown for the Williams Invitational, their fourth appearance of the season. Just as for the women’s team, a first-year lead the way for the men. Stephen Chen ’25 adeptly made his way around the course, posting an excellent score of 73 in his first round, two-over on the par-71 course. He sat in fourth place overall through 18 holes. The rest of the team struggled to keep up with him.
The only other Mammoth in the top 20 was Brian Aslanian ’22, who carded a seven-over-78 to claim 20th place. Close behind him was Eric Zetterstrom ’22, who carded a 79. Anthony Zhang ’25, Tommy Whitley ’24, and Ben Byman ’24 rounded out the scoring with rounds of 84, 86, and 87, respectively.
Following the first round, the team’s collective score — the sum of their top four scores — was 314, which put them in sixth place, 22 strokes behind the first-place Williams Ephs.
The team repeated their performance on the second day, shooting another combined 314 to finish in sixth place. Chen failed to reach the heights of his day-one performance, but nevertheless put up a respectable 78, seven over, to finish seventh overall. Zetterstrom continued to play well, improving on his previous day’s finish with a 77. Aslanian and Zhang rounded out the Mammoth’s top four scores with rounds of 81 and 78.
The sixth-place finish was not exactly what the team wanted out of the weekend — but the team nevertheless welcomed the experience.
“It was one of the tougher courses that we play all year,” said Whitley, “so it gave us a good challenge that we used to test and dial in our games.”
He hopes that the team’s experience in Williamstown will prepare them for a strong showing at the NESCAC Championship next weekend, in New Hartford, New York. “The most important thing in golf is peaking at the right time, and we set ourselves up perfectly to peak next week at NESCACs.”