W. golf beats Princeton in sunny Florida

The women’s golf team got plenty of sun during spring break while the cold March weather raged on in New Haven. Instead of suffering through the late winter winds, the team packed their bags for Gainesville, Fla. and the Dominican Republic.

In Florida, the Elis competed in the SunTrust Lady Gator Invitational, hosted by the University of Florida on Mar. 12. The team placed tenth of 14 and shot a combined score of 934 over three rounds, which put them 94 strokes above par. Although the team could not surmount such formidable foes as first-place Florida (884) and second-place Purdue (898), it did muster the power to beat its thirteenth-place Ivy rival, Princeton, by 20 strokes.

Although they did not rank very high, the Bulldogs had five players finish in the top 100 for individual play. Ellie Brophy ’08 pulled off a stunning tie for sixth place, finishing only five strokes behind first place Sandra Gal with a combined score of 222, only 12 strokes over par.

Although she performed well, Brophy said since the matchup was the Bulldogs’ first since last fall, it was difficult to adjust to outdoor play after weeks of hitting balls on the range. Still, Brophy said she was proud of the team’s rank, given that they played on a difficult course against teams that have already gained a few tournaments’ worth of experience this season.

The biggest thrill for the Bulldogs in team play was defeating Princeton.

“[Princeton's] our big competition in the Ivy League, and every time we beat them that’s something nice to take away from [the tournament],” Brophy said.

After their debut in Florida, the Elis flew off to the Dominican Republic to defeat a team of nine amateur golfers, 135-129, on Mar. 18. The women teed off against amateurs in La Roma on the 34th-ranked golf course in the world, Teeth of the Dog. The teams faced off in “stable ford,” a nonstandard format that awards a converted number of points based on player performance per hole. Cindy Shin ’07 and Lindsay Hong ’08 tied for first place with scores of 29. Team captain January Romero ’06 followed in second, scoring 28. Brophy came in fifth with 25 points.

The Elis said they were happy to end their spring break tour with a win, even though they were proud of their performance in Florida. They said their goal was to focus on individual fine-tuning more than perfecting team dynamics, since they were coming off a long winter.

Some of the players said they learned that much work has to be done before the season kicks into high gear. Even though Shin led the way in the match against the Dominicans, she said she was not altogether satisfied with her performance.

“My game was on and off,” Shin said. “I’ll be devoting my time to chipping and putting.”

Several team members said much of their troubles came from the transition from practicing on the artificial turf at indoor ranges to the grass and difficult terrain of the courses. But Hong said she is confident the Bulldogs will be able to address their difficulties as they prepare to take on the Ivy League.

“I think we just need to work on getting our game back,” Hong said. “We did pretty well, considering we had only been practicing for three days.”

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