BABSON PARK, Mass.—After winning its third consecutive New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) title and posting a top-25 finish at the NCAA Division III Championship last spring, the Babson College men's golf team is primed to continue its success in 2017-18.
OPENING TEE SHOT
Under the direction of fifth-year head coach Jeff Page, the Beavers bring back 11 players, all of which have played at least 10 competitive rounds during their time at Babson. Page, who has won three straight NECC Coach of the Year Awards, was selected as the Golf Pride Grips/GCAA Northeast Region Coach of the Year in June after guiding the Green and White to its best season in over a decade.
Sophomore Chris Bornhorst (West Newton, Mass.), who earned medalist honors at the NEIGA Championship last October, posted the lowest single-season scoring average (75.39) by a Babson player going back to 1992 last year. He carded a 2-under 70 in the opening round of the NECC Championship on his way to collecting player and rookie of the year honors, and capped the year by being named to the GCAA/PING All-Northeast Region squad.
Babson seniors Kyle Alexander (Brewer, Maine), Pranav Mohan (Fremont, Calif.), Andrew Neal (Chevy Chase, Md.), Ian Notkin (Caldwell, N.J.) and Dan Young (Westwood, Mass.) have known nothing but success since stepping on campus as they've helped the program win three NECC championships and make a trio of NCAA Tournament appearances. Mohan was an NEIGA All-Region selection in 2014 and 2015, and owns a 79.46 career scoring average, while Alexander and Notkin have combined for five all-conference awards. Neal participated in the 2015 NCAA Championship and Young's 78.50 scoring average last fall was the best of his career.
In addition to its five-man senior classes, juniors Benjamin Crawford (Houston, Texas), Lukas Linemayr (Hampton, N.H.) and Riley Whitham (Harvard, Mass.) all boast NCAA Tournament experience and the pedigree to challenge the best players in the region. Crawford tied for 63rd position after firing an opening round 74 at last year's NCAA Championship, Whitham was a 2016 PING/GCAA all-region honoree, and Linemayr posted a pair of top-three finishes and made his national tournament debut last spring.
STRONG EARLY RETURNS
Sophomores Martin Jensen (Bronxville, N.Y.) and David Choi (Dallas, Texas) both played 10 competitive rounds and collected All-NECC honors as rookies in 2016-17. Jensen finished second on the squad with a 77.20 scoring average, while Choi posted a 77.90 scoring average and came in 15th at the Williams Invitational.
The Green and White finished the 2016-17 campaign with a 307.00 team stroke average, which was more than nine shots better than the previous year. The Beavers have cut six or more shots off their scoring average in each of the last three seasons, highlighted by last year's squad breaking 300 on four occasions.
INTO THE FIRE
Babson jumps right into a competitive fall schedule that has them taking on some of the top teams from the northeast over three consecutive weekends in September at events hosted by Trinity, Middlebury and Williams. The Green and White will also have the opportunity to defend its NECC and NEIGA championships in October.