Neither the men’s nor women’s golf teams finished lower than third place in any tournament they competed in during the fall season. With that success in their past, the men’s and women’s golf programs competed in their first few meets of the spring season over spring break.
The men’s golf program traveled south to Greensboro, Ga. to compete in the Linger Longer Invitational, co-hosted by Kennesaw State and Mercer, March 22–23 against national powerhouses such as Alabama, Georgia, Oklahoma and Clemson.
Meanwhile, the women’s team made its way to the Middleburg Bank Invitational in Williamsburg, Va. hosted by William & Mary after practicing at courses around Naples, Fla. during the first week of spring break.
The men’s program took 10th place out of the 15 teams invited with 886 strokes, while the women’s team clinched a first-place victory in Williamsburg with 617 total strokes.
“The weekend went pretty well,” said men’s team captain Sam Bernstein ’14. “We beat two solid teams and we came close to beating two others, but that was a little disappointing. It was a great finish considering we’ve only had a week of practice and we were playing some of the best teams in college golf that have been practicing all winter.”
The Bulldogs finished the first round of day one at the Linger Longer Invitational in 13th place with a score of 295. During the second round, however, the Elis made up ground and made their way to 10th with 285 strokes and an overall score of +4.
Joe Willis ’16 and Will Davenport ’15 came in 25th and 29th, respectively, after day one and led the team with combined scores of 143 and 144.
Davenport continued his consistent performance into day two, firing a score of 72 for a final score of 216 — which put him at par for the weekend — and earned him a 15th-place overall finish in the tournament.
“I played pretty well this week, and I drove the ball extremely well,” Davenport said. “I only missed two fairways in 54 holes, which set me up for very consistent golf. I also had the unluckiest break of my life on the first hole of the tournament and played the rest of the weekend under par, so I was pretty proud of my mental game and ability to bounce back.”
Bernstein finished the tournament as Yale’s second-best performer with a final score of 224 and Willis ended the tournament just behind Bernstein with a score of 225.
Due to unfavorable weather coming through Williamsburg March 17–18, play on Monday and Tuesday was cancelled for the women, but an extra round was added to Sunday. This made the Middleburg Bank Invitational a 36-hole competition as opposed to the traditional 54.
“Last year we played in the same tournament and the weather was similar. We couldn’t play on the last day,” women’s team captain Sun Park ’14 said. “I think the organizers of the tournament learned from that experience. Obviously it was tough for us to play 36 holes in one day coming out of spring training, but we had been doing our winter workouts and were prepared physically.”
In Williamsburg, the Elis scored 305 and 311 in the first day of competition on March 16 to clinch the first place spot above Longwood.
Two freshman led the pack for the Elis at the end of day one, with Sandy Wongwaiwate ’17 coming in fourth with scores of 76 and 75 and Elisabeth Bernabe ’17 taking fifth with 77 and 75 strokes.
The Yale men’s golf team will next compete in The Met Intercollegiate hosted at Century Country Club and Old Oaks Country Club in Purchase, N.Y. on April 5. The women’s team will compete in the Hoya Invitational hosted at the Members Club at Four Streams in Beallsville, Md. March 31 and April 1.