The Yale women’s golf team made the trek to North Carolina this Monday and Tuesday to compete in the Pine Needles Women’s Collegiate Invitational. The Bulldogs finished seventh out of 14 squads, with an overall score of 637, 69 strokes over par.
Despite having won both the Yale Invitational in late September and the Princeton Invitational in early October, the golf team was not disappointed by its seventh-place finish. A number of the high-ranking Division I schools were in attendance at the tournament, including eventual second-place Kent State, the current Division I scoring leader on par-4 holes.
“The team did pretty well considering that we were competing against many of the Big Ten schools,” Jordanna Davis ’03 said.
Anna Jepson ’05 agreed.
“We were going up against some of the best Division I schools,” Jepson said. “[Our finish] was definitely better than we expected.”
Though contending against these golf powerhouses, several Yale players produced very competitive scores. Sarah Seo ’02 tied for fifth individually with a score of 149, and Jepson played beyond her years with a result of 153, good enough for ninth place.
Despite a good showing in one of her first collegiate tournaments, Jepson expects more in the spring season.
“I know I can do better,” Jepson said. “But it was still a pretty good score considering the fact that the course was very long.”
The other three Bulldogs — Davis (168), Stephanie Wei ’05 (169), and Jennifer Schriefer ’02 (170) — ended with slightly higher scores.
“Overall we played well,” Davis said. “[Wei, Schriefer and I] just all had at least one round we weren’t pleased with.”
Wei , who played with a back injury and a sprained ankle, was optimistic despite a few disappointing rounds.
“I think that it shows the strength of our team that we finished [seventh] even though some of the players weren’t too happy with the way they played,” Wei said.
Coach Mary Moan agreed with this assessment.
“I’m hoping that the team realizes that we’re not that far off from playing as [the top Division I schools] do,” Moan said.
Playing on the Pine Needles course might have been responsible for the Elis’ inflated scores. The course is being used this year for the U.S. Women’s Open. Golf Magazine ranked the Yale course as one of the 100 most difficult courses in the country in 1988, but Pine Needles’ 5,986 yards outrank its own 5,851.
“The course was really long,” Davis said. “On the par-4s we were using woods to get on the green rather than our usual irons.”
The Pine Needles Invitational was the last tournament of the fall. Yale’s next event will be the William and Mary Spring Invitational in late March.
After a winter of hard work, Yale looks forward to a successful season in the spring. The Elis have won three Ivy titles in the past five years, but placed second last season, behind Princeton.
“I think we’ll win the Ivy League championship,” Davis said. “Princeton lost a lot of really good seniors [to graduation].”