For the second straight year, the Tufts University golf team is one of just four teams in the 11-member NESCAC that will compete for the conference championship this weekend in Middlebury, Vermont.
The Jumbos advanced to the NESCAC Championship by placing fourth at the conference qualifier back in the fall. Tufts will compete against host Middlebury, Trinity and Hamilton for the 2019 league title. The winner will receive an automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament.
Expected to play for the Jumbos this weekend are senior co-captain Justin Feldman, junior Henry Hughes, junior Brandon Karr, sophomore Alex Honigford and sophomore Harry Theodore. Feldman, Karr and Theodore all played for the Jumbos at the NESCAC Championship last year held at Indian Hill Country Club in Newington, Connecticut. Feldman was the top Jumbo finisher with a two-day 158, including the team's best round of 78 on Sunday. Tufts finished fourth as a team in 2018.
The Jumbos will hope to recreate the magic they had on Sunday at the fall Qualifier. In fifth place entering the second day of the tournament, the Jumbos' four-best scores totaled to 291 strokes and they jumped over Williams College for the fourth and final berth into the conference championship. In that Sunday round, Theodore shot 72, Feldman had a 73 and Karr hit 74 as the Jumbos overcame a five-stroke deficit against Williams.
For the eight tournaments on Tufts' 2018-19 schedule, Karr has been low man three times, Hughes twice and Honigford twice. Karr's 148 (75-73) at Trinity's Detrick Invitational back in the fall matches the lowest tournament score by a Jumbo playing this weekend. Theodore scored 148 (76-72) at the NESCAC Qualifier. Hughes has twice scored 149. Playing on the Middlebury course that will host this weekend, he shot 75-74-149 at the Duke Nelson Invitational and then went 75-74-149 at the NESCAC Qualifier. Honigford's fourth-place with 74-78-152 scores at Mass.-Dartmouth's Lafrance Hospitality Invitational last weekend was the best Jumbo finish of the year. Feldman's low also came at the Detrick Tournament (74-77-151).
Middlebury, as the top finisher at the Qualifier, will host this weekend at the par-71 Ralph Myhre Golf Course. They scored 293-294-587 at the Qualifier. Defending champion Trinity had 291-297-588 scores in the fall. Hamilton (292-300-592) was third and the Jumbos came in fourth at 304-291-595.