On a cold and blustery weekend when many Yale students did not want to leave the comfort of their dorm, the women’s golf team braved the elements on a course in Massachusetts.
Last night the Bulldogs returned home with gold in the Harvard Invitational, recording a team score of 660, 19 strokes better than second-place Harvard. The Crimson were winning the tournament by three strokes after the first round of play on Saturday. The Elis came out strong and battled back for the win yesterday. Lauren Ressler ’06 won her first collegiate title, shooting rounds of 80 and 79.
Captain Stephanie Wei ’05 did not play due to an injury but cheered her team on at the tournament. Wei said she was excited about the team’s first win of the fall.
“It was really tough out there,” Wei said. “I really felt for them. They played really hard.”
This tournament was especially difficult for the Bulldogs because of the weather conditions. Ressler described playing in 30 mph winds and dealing with hard greens that caused a lot of bounces.
“Basically it was an impossible course,” Ressler said. “It was hard getting up and down and it was tough getting close to the hole. You would hit a great shot that would bounce and roll. It was really hard to deal with this for 18 holes.”
Surprised by these conditions, the Bulldogs had a higher score first round than they are accustomed to. Cindy Shin ’07 shot an 85 on Saturday, followed by Jessica Shapiro ’06 who shot 86. January Romero ’06 and Carmen Zimmer ’07 each finished with scores of 91.
Shin said she struggled in the first round.
“I missed a lot of greens and I couldn’t get up and down,” Shin said.
On Sunday, however, the Elis were ready for the course and the conditions. Romero improved significantly from Saturday, finishing with a team-high 78. Shin and Ressler each shot a 79. Shapiro shot a score of 82 and Zimmer shot an 86. Shapiro said she was pleased with the Bulldogs’ comeback.
“We finished strong [Sunday],” Shapiro said. “We did well for the conditions we were playing in and against our competitors.”
Shin attributes the comeback to better preparation and determination.
“I tried to stay more focused and hit more greens,” Shin said. “I didn’t putt as well as I wanted to but I did improve.”
Team members said they were excited about the win, especially over league rivals Harvard and Brown.
Ressler had not expected to win the individual title, but was very pleased when she did. She attributed her victory to hitting many of the fairways during the rounds. In a field of competition where women were hitting triple bogeys often and where one woman shot a 11 on a par-5 hole, Ressler managed to hit no double bogeys at all. Ressler was humble about her win.
“It was fun for me to personally conquer the course, but I was most happy that we were all able to come back and win,” Ressler said.
After the win at the Harvard Invitational, the Elis are hoping to finish out the fall season well at the Mid Pines Intercollegiate, their final competition of 2003. The Bulldogs will be traveling to North Carolina for the tournament on Nov. 3 and 4.