The Seton Hall Pirates men’s golf team finished in second place at the Earl Yestingsmeier Match Play, its first competition of the spring season at Lake Jovita Country Club in Dade City, Fla.
On Monday in the quarterfinals of the first day of the tournament, the fourth-seeded Pirates came out swinging with a strong outing against the fifth-seeded University of Toledo Rockets. Seton Hall cruised to a 5-1 victory over the Rockets, with senior Lloyd Jefferson Go outperforming Toledo’s Stephen Watts, 5 & 4. Senior Kevin O’Brien also had an impressive round against Grant Godfrey of Toledo, defeating him 4 & 2. The only Pirate to lose that round was junior Linus Yip, who fell to Toledo’s Joe Bryce by a single hole.
Later that day, Seton Hall faced the eighth-seeded University of Miami-Ohio Red Hawks in the tournament semifinals. That matchup was hotly contested, with the Pirates defeating their opponent by a very slim margin in a tie-break since they won just six more holes than the Red Hawks. Jefferson Go continued his dominance from the quarterfinals with a 4 & 3 win over Miami-Ohio’s Patrick Flavin. However, Seton Hall’s Gen Nagai and Chris Yeom both fell to their opponents, leaving it up to Alex Chalk and O’Brien to help bring the Pirates into the finals. O’Brien showed his skill in the semis with a 5 & 3 victory over J.D. Fletcher of Miami-Ohio, while Chalk edged Callahan Elzey 3 & 2. This team effort was enough to push the Pirates past the Red Hawks and into the final round against Notre Dame.
Coming off of the momentum from their tight victory against Miami-Ohio, the Pirates faced the Notre Dame Fighting Irish on Tuesday, Feb. 14. Notre Dame, riding a 4-2 victory against Ball State in the semifinals and another 4-2 win over DePaul in the quarterfinals, was too much for the efforts of Jefferson Go and the Pirates.
In the finals, Jefferson Go won his third game of the tournament, making him the lone Pirate to go undefeated at Lake Jovita Country Club. Yeom was the only other golfer for the Hall to win in the finals, defeating Miguel Delgado of Notre Dame, 2 UP. Nagai, O’Brien and Chalk of the Pirates suffered losses to their opposition, while Yip halved with Notre Dame’s John Felitto.
The Pirates next take to the links at the Loyola Invitational in Arizona on Feb. 25.
Bob Towey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @BobTowey5.