Dave Velardo '08 and Eli Wilson '09 Are the Big Guns Back as Golf Swings into 2006-07 Fall Season

Dave Velardo '08 and Eli Wilson '09

Defeating Amherst for the first time in a Little Three setting, 7-5, in the final match of the 2006 spring campaign, the golf team ended on a high note. Hoping to pick up where they left off, the Cardinals will rely on team captain Dave Velardo '08 (left in photo) and Eli Wilson '09 (right in photo)to carry the load. Velardo may have written golf history at Wesleyan last year as his 16 rounds of medal play ranged between a 69 and an 83, giving him a per round average of 77.1. To find a Wesleyan player whose performance came close to rivaling that of Velardo, one has to look back to Joe Kazcikas '73, who as a senior shot under an 80 in 14 of his 16 rounds and sported a per round average of 77.4. Other top accomplishments for Velardo in 2005-06 included opening the year with a solid 151 total at the Skidmore Invitational which included a round of 69, the lowest score by a Wesleyan golfer since Gary Burnett scored a 68 at Hickory Ridge in Amherst, Mass on April 18, 1972. There had been only two previous rounds of Wesleyan golf under a 70 over the last 40 years with the best, a 67, recorded in 1967 by Steve Keim. In the NESCAC Championship at Williams, Velardo carded a 156 total to tie for 13th among 61 players. That was good enough to give him second-team all-NESCAC honors. Velardo ended the fall campaign with an 81-77-158 total at the New England Championship to tie for 49th in a field of 225 players. He also won the putting competition over 44 other entrants to give Wesleyan the title in that area. Wesleyan also got solid play from Wilson during medal play a year ago as he turned in a stroke average of 80.3 while playing 14 rounds. Other top returnees include John Torrenti '09, who had an 87.5 average, and Max Schenkein '08, who played very well at the Little Three tournament and has rounds of 84 and 87 to his credit while seeing limited action the last two seasons as he also is a member of Wesleyan's tennis squad. Newcomer Eli Kendall '10 is the front-runner among the freshmen and is expected to give the team a lift in the absence of graduated seniors Hal Tift '06 and Jeff Sillin '06. The squad inaugurates fall action in Maine at the Bowdoin Invitational Sat. and Sun., Sept. 9-10.