W. golf struggles early, ends in middle of pack

In championship situations, the best players elevate their games to new levels. Unfortunately for the women’s golf team, this meant seeing the competition rise past them.

The Bulldogs finished fourth in the Ivy League Championships in Northfield, N.J., this weekend behind Harvard, Columbia and Princeton. The Elis shot 928 for the weekend, 27 strokes behind the third-place Tigers and eight ahead of fifth-place Penn. Seniors Ellie Brophy ’08 and Lindsay Hong ’08 led the Bulldogs in the final tournaments of their careers, finishing tied for 12th individually.

The Elis had high hopes going into the tournament, coming off a third-place finish at the Roar-EE Invitational last weekend. Notable for the tough green conditions, the tournament saw the Bulldogs still finish behind Harvard but well ahead of Princeton and Columbia. With one more week of practice, the Elis looked forward to the challenge of the Ivy League Championship.

“We were ready to win it,” Natasha Spackey ’09 said.

The field began to separate quickly on the first day, as several players posted rounds under par, including a sizzling seven-under for Princeton’s Susannah Aboff.

“Conditions were wonderful, allowing multiple people to shoot under par, something unheard of for most tournaments,” Spackey said.

After the first round, the Bulldogs were already 11 strokes off the pace set by Harvard. The Crimson, Lions and Tigers each then beat their scores in the second round, while the Elis headed the other direction, shooting eight strokes worse.

“When they’re shooting par or better, you don’t have much room for error,” Brophy, the team’s captain, said. “A few strokes and missed chances here and there add up.”

The Bulldogs recovered on Sunday to tie Columbia for the best round of the day at 304, finally achieving the type of success they expected for the tournament. Nevertheless, the Elis were reconciled to the fact that their scores were comparable to those they have shot all year.

“We played well; [Harvard, Columbia, and Princeton] played spectacularly,” Spackey said.

After so many long hours of practice and numerous tournaments, the fourth-place finish in the Ivies was a difficult end to the season for the team.

“We were disappointed to finish in fourth place,” Brophy said. “The finish was not a good indicator of the work we put in all season.”

Looking back on the season overall, though, Brophy congratulated her teammates on their improvement.

“We are so dedicated and hardworking,” Brophy said. “I am pleased with all the hard work and heart everyone put in to this season.”

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