Inexperienced golf develops

The Newtonite

[media-credit name=”Gabe Dryer” align=”alignleft” width=”200″][/media-credit]

Junior Mark Vrahas chips the ball against Brookline Thursday, Oct. 20, at Brae Burn Country Club

by Gloria Li
Golf, 7-7, put up a strong performance this season, but it did not reach the State Finals, according to junior Mark Vrahas, a captain with junior Brendan Ryan and sophomore Charlie Goldberg.
According to Ryan, “We wanted to win the rest of the matches this season until the playoffs.”
The Tigers were dissatisfied with the outcomes of matches against their two toughest opponents this season, Needham and Brookline, he said.
“We didn’t go into the game expecting to win each match,” according to Ryan.
The Tigers ended up suffering losses in these matches, 55-54 and 56-52 respectively.
At the match, Tuesday, Oct.18, the Tigers were close, 54-54, but then, Needham won the tie-breaker because the player with the lowest score was on Needham coach Bob MacDougall said.
“We came within only a few strokes of beating them on their course,” he said.
Despite its losses, the Tigers still participated in the Division I North Qualifier State Tournament, Sunday, Oct. 24, he said.
At the qualifier, the Tigers finished 10th, and MacDougall said they played well, but “it would have taken some great playing for the team to advance.”
Additionally, he said, “There were a lot of great scores at the qualifier.” MacDougall is confident that that the lessons learned this season will pay off for the team next season and into the future.
Ryan said, “Throughout the season, we competed against more experienced teams who typically also perform well at tournament.”
According to MacDougall, the Tigers “were a very inexperienced team this year,” with seven players out of 11 new to varsity.
Also, most of the courses on which the Tigers played their away matches, such as the Walpole Country Club, are not open to the public.
Therefore, the courses were not easy to play on because the members did not know what to expect, he said.
“I tried to inform them of the courses, but it requires having actually played the course to become familiar with it,” he said.
“This was largely due to the fact that they typically practice using stroke-play format where the individual is emphasized over the team, while at the actual competition, players compete in match play,” he said.
Goldberg and junior Robert Anderson were two of the stronger and harder working members of the team this season, according to Vrahas.
According to coach Bob MacDougall, last year, Goldberg qualified for the State Final as an individual player.
Although “the team’s inexperience on courses away from home was its Achilles’ heel,” MacDougall said there were “some really good golfers who could put up some low numbers.”
MacDougall said, “Vrahas had a good year. He was very consistent, and his presence in the lineup and his leadership really stood out.”
He also said junior Mike Kurson, in his first year on varsity, “played like a third-year veteran.”
MacDougall said he considers himself lucky to have been in the company of these members.