Dave Velardo '08 Is 15-for-15 for Rounds at 80 or Better, Helping Team to 3 Wins to End the Year
Facing R.I.C., Worcester St. and Elms in a season-ending quad-match in Providence, R.I., Fri., May 2, Dave Velardo '08 (photo) made it 15 consecutive rounds of 80 or better for the year as he paced the Cards with a 77. Wesleyan took the team title with a 325 total as R.I.C. had 336, Worcester St. 338 and Elms 360. Wesleyan got strong support from Rob McCourt '08 (80), Eli Wilson '09 (83) and John Eshelman '08 (85) in securing the team victory. In the team's only home affair of the year Fri., April 18 vs. Trinity, Velardo fashioned a round of even-par 72 to medal, one stroke ahead of the top Bantam player. Trinity captured the match, however, 309-323. Earlier this spring, Wesleyan took on Williams and Hamilton, teams which finished third and fourth in the NESCAC qualifier this past fall, during the three-way affair in Ft. Pierce, Fla. Sat., March 22. The team had a decent showing with a team score of 314. Leading the way for Wesleyan as always was Velardo with a two-under-par 70, his best round of the season. He placed second of the 22 players who competed in the event, one stroke behind the medalist from Hamilton. Williams captured the team title with a 291 score with Hamilton three strokes behind in 294. Wesleyan's number two finisher was Eli Wilson '09 who carded a solid 77. The Cards had begun the northern schedule in a four-way match at Nichols Fri., April 11. Wesleyan trailed Nichols (315), Brandeis (317) and Johnson & Wales (319) in the final standings with a 330 total. Velardo posted a second-place score of 77 among the 20 competitors. Next best among the Cardinals was Dan DeRienzo '11 with an 83. In the annual Little Three matches, this year held at Williams Wed., April 23, Wesleyan gave Amherst a run for its money but fell, 7-5, while Williams ran away with the title, defeating Wesleyan 11.5 - 0.5 and Amherst, 11-1. Seven of the eight Cardinals in action contributed to the team's five points vs. Amherst as the duo of Velardo and McCourt won in the two-man best ball as did the team of Max Schenkein '08 and Wilson. The combination of DeRienzo and Charlie Alderman '11 halved their match. In individual play, Alderman was the lone winner while Velardo, Wilson and Eshelman all halved their matches. Against Williams, only the Velardo/McCourt tandem managed to halve their match. In the final summation of the year, Velardo's 15 rounds of medal play results in scores between 70 and 80 and an outstanding average of 75.1, the best of his three-year career. Transferring to Wesleyan from WPI in 2005, Velardo averaged 77.1 strokes a round in 2005-06, then 78.2 strokes a round in 2006-07.