JACKSON, N.J. -- Following a 12-year hiatus, the 2016 Ivy League Men's Golf Championship returns to Metedeconk National Golf Club.
The annual conference championship was played at the course in the New Jersey Pinelands from 2000-04, with Princeton taking the title four times and Yale claiming the other.
The 2016 tournament has the potential for excitement, as six League schools have at least one golfer in the most recent Golfstat Top 10 rankings. One of the schools not represented in the top 10 is defending champion Penn, which won the 2015 title on the final hole of the competition.
The Ivy League Digital Network (ILDN) will wrap up coverage of the three-day event with a complete highlight package on Tuesday, April 26 to go along with the postseason awards release that will recognize the All-Ivy teams and unveil the Player, Rookie and Coach of the Year awards.
Here is a quick look at each of the teams:
The Bears have not finished in the top half of the championship since a second-place finish in 2007, but hope to end that trend this year. Brown's most recent performance of the current season was its best, a ninth-place finish at the Yale Invitational last week.
Junior Connor Lynch paced the Bears with a two-round 153, while freshman Bryan Hong was one stroke behind him and sophomore Kevin Li finished with a score of 156. Li is Brown's top-ranked golfer in the most recent Golfstat rankings, coming in at 21st in the Ivy League.
The Lions fell to fourth place in 2015 after winning the championship in 2014, but have a chance to bounce back behind the strength of senior Harrison Shih, the Ivy League's top-ranked player in the latest Golfstat rankings. Shih has an average score of 71.13 over eight tournaments this year with a low round of 66. Junior Mert Selamet joins Shih in the top 10 at eighth overall.
Columbia's fall season was highlighted by a first-place tie at the Tuxedo Autumn Invitational in Tuxedo Park, N.Y., on Sept. 26. At the Princeton Invitational against many of the Ancient Eight, the Lions placed sixth.
Cornell was the Ivy League Championship's runner-up in 2005, but has not placed in the top half of the standings since. However, the Big Red returns a pair of All-Ivy performers in the Graboyes brothers, junior Luke and sophomore Mike. Luke ranks seventh on the League's most recent Golfstat rankings.
Cornell just completed a strong fifth-place showing at the Yale Invitational on April 16 and won its own Spring South Florida Invitational earlier this month in West Palm Beach, Fla. The Big Red also had two top-three finishes in the fall.
Dartmouth is riding high after a second-place finish at the Yale Invitational on April 16, coming up just one stroke short of first-place Bucknell. Freshman John Lazor captured the individual title by firing a three-over 143 two-day score, three strokes ahead of the next closest competitor.
The Big Green had some success in the fall as well, winning the Quechee (Vt.) Club Collegiate Challenge in September and the Connecticut Cup at Ellington Ridge in October. Sophomore Ian Kelsey is the top ranked Dartmouth player in the Golfstat rankings, coming in at No. 3.
Harvard has won only one Ivy League title and that was back in 1975, but things are looking up. The Crimson finished third in each of the last two championships and currently rank as the top team in the League according to Golfstat based on average score, score vs. par and conference comparative wins.
Harvard has finished second in its last two events - the Princeton Invitational on April 10 and the Furman Intercollegiate on March 27. Junior Robert Deng, who placed third at the Ivy League Championship a year ago, leads the Crimson and is second in the conference with an average score of 71.67 this season. Junior Daniel De La Garza joins him at No. 4 in the Golfstat rankings.
Penn is looking to be the first repeat champion since Columbia won three in a row from 2008-10. The Quakers overcame a five-stroke deficit on the final day of last year's tournament and became the first team to win the title after finishing last in the previous year.
The Quakers are led by sophomore Carter Thompson and senior Patrick O'Leary. Thompson owns a stroke average of 74.9 and has been Penn's top finisher in four events this year, including the last three. O'Leary has an average score of 75.2 and has paced Penn twice, highlighted by a co-championship at the City Six in October.
The Tigers are looking for revenge this season after losing a five-stroke lead to Penn in last year's event. They will be hoping for a repeat performance from reigning League individual champion Quinn Prchal, who tied an Ivy championship record with a three-round score of 210. Princeton last won the title in 2013.
Prchal has picked up where he left off and ranks third in the conference this season based on average score (71.85) and score vs. par. Teammates Marc Hedrick, Michael Davis and Eric Mitchell rank 15th, 16th and 17th, respectively, in the League's latest Golfstat rankings. Princeton won three events in the fall and recently tied for third at its own invitational earlier this month.
The Bulldogs last won the Ivy title in 2011 and slipped to fifth a year ago after consecutive second-place finishes in 2013 and 2014, but appear to be hitting their stride as the 2016 championship approaches. Yale tied for third at the Princeton Invitational on April 10 against much of the same competition it will see at the Ivy championship, and then took third in its own invitational on April 16.
Two Bulldogs appear in the top 10 the League's latest Golfstat rankings, with junior Li Wang sitting fifth and senior Joe Willis four spots behind in ninth. Wang won his first collegiate event in September with a nine-under three-round 201 at The Doc Gimmler hosted by St. John's.