This past weekend brought a victorious end to the fall season for the men’s and women’s golf teams at Yale.
The men shared first place with Penn at Ivy League Match Play in Mattapoisett, Mass., while Harriet Owers-Bradley ’11 clinched her first individual victory for the women’s team at the Lehigh Invitational in Bethlehem, Pa.
The men did not get a chance to claim the entire trophy, as Sunday’s rain cancelled their championship match against Penn. But this additional first place finish is a fitting conclusion to a fall season marked by historical accomplishments, including the Bulldog’s first-ever MacDonald Cup victory.
“It was a very successful fall campaign,” men’s head coach Colin Sheehan ’97 said. “We have a lot of depth on this team, and it will be competitive to play in the starting rotations. We look to contend in each of our tournaments [in the spring].”
Starting rotations, the team’s spring lineup, will be determined through internal team competition throughout the winter.
Yale competed against Ivy foe Princeton in the first round on Saturday morning and against defending Ivy League Champions Columbia in the second round that afternoon at the match play event.
Against Princeton, Eli captain Ben Wescoe ’10 beat Greg Stamas four and three, Tom McCarthy ’11 took on Patrick Wasserman and won two and one, and Jeff Hatten ’10 beat Juan-Pablo Candela two and one. Brandon Marick ’11 lost to Chase Lovett-Woodsum and Brad Kushner ’13 lost to Evan Harmeling.
Against Columbia, McCarthy beat Brendan Doyle four and three, Kushner beat Ford Fisher six and four, and Wescoe conquered Clark Granum two and one. Marick and Hatten lost their matches in the second round.
“All of the matches were very close,” Wescoe said. “We were very excited to play our final against Penn, but unfortunately it got cancelled due to weather. But we still had an awesome showing, and it was a great way to cap off a spectacular season.”
The Bulldogs hope to keep their momentum up and improve through the winter before the start of the spring season.
“We have a very solid team lined up,” Kushner said. “We will work very hard in the offseason in the team room and in the gym. We are looking to improve on our very strong fall performance. Even though we had very strong finishes this year, we know we didn’t play our best golf. Over the offseason we can work on some of the things we have done wrong in the fall and continue to dominate the Ivy League.”
The women’s golf team found success despite Sunday’s miserable weather through Owers-Bradley’s first-place finish in the Lehigh Invitational.
While overall the team struggled to conquer the adverse conditions, taking fifth place in the tournament, Owers-Bradley prevailed.
“Harriet did extremely well and deserves to win,” teammate Lily Boettcher ’12 said. “We are all very proud of her.”
Owers-Bradley finished Saturday two shots behind the lead with a 79 (+7). Yet she dropped four strokes for a 75 (+3) in the second round to tie with Lehigh’s Rosie Davies.
Owers-Bradley clinched her victory through a nail-biting playoff hole on Sunday afternoon against Davies. She sunk a 15-foot putt to take the hole — and the first-place plaque.
“I really wanted to get revenge on the Lehigh course,” Owers-Bradley said. “I played this course as a freshman and shot a 14 on one hole. My goal was just to par it, which I did both days. The whole thing was pretty exciting though.”
Yale archrival Harvard overtook Columbia in round two Sunday to win the tournament with a score of 633. Columbia settled for second place followed by Penn. Host Lehigh took fourth.
Yale finished with an overall score of 655, ahead of Ivy rival Dartmouth, which took ninth place. Alyssa Roland ’11 and Alexandra Lipa ’13 tied for 18th with scores of 166, while Boettcher and Cassie Boles ’11 shared 33rd place with a score of 173.
The women’s team will look to hone its skills during the winter months.
“We will do a lot of trouble shots and putting in order to adjust quickly to different kinds of circumstances,” women’s head coach Chawwadee Rompothong ’00 said. “These circumstances include cold weather, hot weather and anything that puts you out of your comfort zone.”
But the Bulldogs are ready for victory in the spring, she said.
“They are poised to do some great stuff in the spring” Rompothong said. “It’s good to get all the bad stuff out now and work harder in the off-season. We are really close to doing really well.”