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Men's Golf Ready for 2001 NESCAC Tournamnet

September 27, 2001

AMHERST, MA - The Amherst College men's golf team will seek its first conference title since 1997 at this weekend's NESCAC Men's Golf Championship, hosted by defending champion Williams College, Saturday and Sunday at the Taconic Golf Club. Four different schools have captured the championship in the past four years. Middlebury College won its first title in 1999, Hamilton College captured its second in 1998 and Amherst won its eighth in 1997.

The Jeffs boast the advantage of having played at Taconic last weekend, finishing 14th at the Williams Invitational in their second outing of the fall, after a ninth place finish at the Duke Nelson Invitational, hosted by Middlebury College the previous weekend. Senior captain Mike Blaisdel (South Strafford, VT) - a second-team All-NESCAC selection last season - will lead the way for Amherst after pacing the Jeffs in both of this year's fall outings. First-Team All-NESCAC junior Todd Ballaban (Thousand Oaks, CA) could also make waves after an outstanding showing at last year's conference tournament.

If history is any indicator, Amherst could emerge as one of the team favorites. During a 10-tournament span from 1988 to 1997, the Jeffs claimed seven NESCAC Championships, including back-to-back crowns in 1988 and 1989 and again in 1991 and 1992.

Meanwhile, host Williams seeks it second consecutive conference title, coming off a record-setting win at its own invitational tournament. The Ephs finished first with team record scores, led by junior Will Sicks, who shot a two-day tournament record of 137 with rounds of 69 and 68. Sicks earned first team all-conference honors last year as did Ned Wydysh, the 2000 NESCAC Rookie of the Year.

Middlebury finished eighth in the 21-team Williams Invitational and opened the season with a fifth-place finish at its own Duke Nelson Invite. Senior Damon Gacicia of the Panthers - the 1999 NESCAC individual medallist - finished third at the Duke Nelson. Junior David Greiner earned medallist honors in last year's NESCAC Golf Championship.

Hamilton finished 11th at the Williams Invitational behind strong performances from junior Tom Ferrero and senior Tyler Leach, who earned second-team All-NESCAC accolades last season. Junior Matt Greason and sophomore Brian DiMenna were the top finishers for Trinity in this year's Williams Invitational. Bowdoin finished second at the Sid Farr Invitational hosted by Colby last weekend. Adam Mackie led the Polar Bears, placing fourth overall.

Tufts placed third at the season-opening Bowdoin Invitational behind the solid play of sophomore Brad Hawes. Junior Arun Lamba of the Jumbos earned second-team All-NESCAC honors last year. Colby, who is led by seniors Matt Simard and Justin Ucko, opened the year with a sixth-place finish in the 12-team Bowdoin Invitational. Wesleyan, who finished 14th at the Duke Nelson Invitational, was led by junior Adam Diamond and sophomore Jim Panczykowski in its first two tournaments of the season. Bates placed eighth in the Bowdoin Invitational with sophomore Andy Kadin taking top honors for the Bobcats. Connecticut College will be making its debut in the NESCAC tournament.