Joy Kim ’13 notched a hole-in-one for the women, the men upset a nationally ranked team, and Yale golf looked hot in its return to competition after a hiatus of almost five months.
The men added a second place finish in the George Washington Invitational after stunning No. 26 Notre Dame, while the women defeated Longwood in a dual meet and had a first-place finish in the William and Mary Spring Invitational over spring break.
Seo Hee Moon ’14 paced the women to first-place finishes in its last two tournaments of the fall season, and the women picked up where they left off over a successful spring break. Moon and fellow rookie, Sun Park ’14, led the team to its first victory of 2011 as they shot an even par 70 and a two-over 72, respectively, in Yale’s 295–313 victory over Longwood Universisty in Lake Wales, Fla. on March 15.
The team then flew north to Virginia for the William and Mary competition where the grass had not yet turned green, but the team kept its performance up. Moon’s Saturday six-under 66 round was the best of the tournament and tied a personal best, but it was Joy Kim ’13 who had the individual highlight of the weekend for Yale: a hole in one.
Kim rode her big shot to an eighth place finish overall, and Yale won the tournament with a 30-over par finish, ten strokes ahead of second-place St. John’s.
The men’s team returned to play on March 14 with a contest against heavily favored No. 26 Notre Dame. But, led by captain Thomas McCarthy ’11 and rookie Sam Bernstein ’14, the Elis eked out a narrow 606–607 win.
“We rose to challenge and played the underdog role,” Bernstein said. “We tried to be as aggressive as could. If we lost, we were expected to lose. But if we won, we knew it would be a boost to the season.”
Though the contest was decided by a razor-thin one-stroke margin, the Elis on the course did not know quite how close the score was. Bernstein said he imagined he had lost the match for the Elis when he missed a two-foot putt on the last hole. But Yale’s 303–305 lead from the first day held up, and Yale pulled off the upset. The team headed into the George Washington Invitational in Bethany Beach, Del. four days later with the momentum in its favor.
But although the men rolled through the first round of the three-day tournament, they could not sustain that performance. The team finished with a higher score in each successive round — a 297 and a 303 after a first-round 285 — and finished in second, five strokes behind Penn.
“Our first round was pretty fantastic,” Bernstein said. “But we fell off a bit and couldn’t build on the first day, which was disappointing. That will serve as a motivation going forward. While Penn is a a good team and has some talent, we feel like on our best day we should be able to handle them.”
The men’s season continues with three more tournaments, including the Yale Spring Opener on April 2, before the all-important Ivy League Championships in late April. The women next play at the Georgetown Hoya Invitational on March 28.