Five members of the women’s golf team rode down to Harrisonburg, Va. last weekend to play in the Lady Dukes Invitational. And for the second time this spring, Yale placed fourth.

In a field of 17 teams, the Elis finished with a combined score of 636 for two rounds, only four strokes behind third-place Princeton. Penn State came in first with a score of 611 and James Madison second with a two-day total of 628.

The finish marks a considerable improvement this spring for Yale, which was 14th at Waterlefe/USF Invitational and 11th at the NIU Snowbird Intercollegiate.

“Compared to Princeton and Brown, we played well, which bodes well for the Ivy championship,” Jordanna Davis ’03 said. “Princeton [has] some really good freshmen, so they’ll continue to be tough competition.”

The Elis teed off first thing Saturday, and were fortunate because it rained later that afternoon. Sunday brought rougher weather as the winds picked up.

“I felt like we didn’t play well on Saturday, we ended up in seventh place despite the good conditions,” head coach Mary Moan said. “But, even though the conditions weren’t as good, we fought back on Sunday.”

There were particularly strong individual performances on the course. Team captain Sarah Seo ’02 was in the lead on Saturday and tied for second with a score of 150, two strokes behind winner Katie Futcher from Penn State. Anna Jepson ’05 shot 155, finishing 11th overall.

“A lot of the problem was putting,” said Jordanna Davis ’03, who shot 167. “Yale’s putting greens aren’t as great as they used to be.”

Some of the players were not happy with the way they played. But all were pleased with the fourth place finish, especially because of the turnaround on Sunday.

“I was upset with my performance this weekend. I just couldn’t get my game together and I was lacking confidence,” Stephanie Wei ’05 said. “But the team did well.”

The fact that the team did not play as well as it had hoped and still finished in a top position shows the potential the players have, Wei said.

Coach Moan agreed.

“We really haven’t played to our potential yet,” Moan said.

The fourth place finish was Yale’s best since the William and Mary Invitational in March, where they were also fourth.

The Bulldogs play in the Ivy League championship at the Trenton Country Club in New Jersey this weekend.