New Haven, CT — Bates College upset defending C Division champions Amherst College to win the 2016 Walker Cup.
Amherst came into the final having won the two teams’ regular season meeting, 7-2. While that might have given Amherst the edge, history was working against the two-time defending Walker Cup champions; no team had ever won three consecutive Walker Cups.
Amherst got on the board first with a fast three-game victory at number 9. They followed that in quick succession with another three-game match at number 6. The number 3 match was the closest of the round. Bates won the first two games, and Amherst won the third and fourth. Bates won the fifth game and finished the round with one match to Amherst’s two.
The second round saw Bates begin to gain ground on Amherst. The Bobcats won in three at number 8 and in four at number 2. The number 5 match went to five, with the two players trading games. Amherst came out ahead, and the match score was 3-all going into the final flight.
Early in the third round, Amherst pushed ahead with a three-game win at number 7. Bates answered with a four-game win at number 4. The match was tied 4-all, but it didn’t take long for the outcome to be decided. Minutes after the number 4 match ended, the Bobcats stitched up the title with a three-game win at number 1.
The final score was Bates 5, Amherst 4.
This is Bates’ first Walker Cup and their first division title since 2006.
In other Walker Cup news, Kate Loftus of Wellesley College was presented with the 2016 Wetzel Award.