Nearly a month removed from his stellar performance at the Ivy Championships on the famous greens of Baltusrol, Penn sophomore Scotty Williams found himself on an even bigger stage, albeit on a lesser-known course.
Williams was one of 75 golfers competing at the NCAA East Regional on The Course at Yale last Thursday through Saturday. The postseason tournament featured 14 teams as well as five individuals who qualified for bids, Williams among them.
Despite playing as an individual for his first time at Penn, the sophomore said he was not nervous. He did, however, admit to being a bit wide-eyed among competition from high-profile schools like Texas and UCLA.
“It was just a lot more legitimate than anything I had ever played in,” he said.
After three rounds of play at Yale, Williams shot a 70-73-79 (+12), finishing in a four-way tie for 58th place.
And though he struggled on the final day and found himself in the bottom half of the leaderboard, when all was said and done, Williams impressed coach Scott Allen.
“I think he showed he can compete and play with the best teams in the country and he would fit in on just about any team in the country,” Allen said.
The sophomore got off to a hot start in round one, birdying the 18th to finish the day at even-par with a score of 70. Williams’ impressive opening round earned him a nine-way tie for 18th place.
Even so, Allen and Williams sought to make some adjustments heading into the second round of play, particularly in his iron play.
“We felt like he putted real well the first day, but maybe didn’t make as many birdies because he didn’t hit as many iron shots close,” Allen said.
Extra work before the second day yielded mixed results. Though he had two birdies on the back nine, Williams struggled at the tail end of the front-nine and finished the day at three-over and in an eight-way tie for 34th place.
But on the final day, Williams’ putter “went a little cold” Allen said. A rough time on the 18th hole, the same hole the sophomore birdied in the first round, tripped up Williams, who triple bogeyed the par five.
According to Williams, a “terrible drive” turned the hole into a disaster, as he soon struggled hitting through trees and trying to reach the green.
“I was kind of laughing throughout the entire hole because it just sucked so badly,” Williams said. “It kind of threw in the towel for me.”
On the back nine, he posted two bogeys, and double bogeyed the final hole to finish nine-over.
Even with the disappointing final round, Williams’ run at the East Regional capped off a historic season. Williams is just the second player in school history to notch the top spot in the Ivy Championships since the event began 35 years ago.
And according to Allen, the future holds good things for Williams and his teammates.
“I still believe that we have the best squad in the [Ivy] League,” Allen said. “We’re bringing back five of our top seven players.”
Williams hopes a few of those players join him at NCAAs in the near future.
“I really want our team to win Ivies next year,” he said. “That’s my big, big goal.”Comments powered by Disqus
Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Pennsylvanian.