Women’s golf came out swinging for the spring season, achieving its goal of a top five finish at the Lady Herd Invitational last Tuesday. The Elis finished fourth in the two-day tournament at El Diablo Golf and Country Club, hosted by Marshall University.

The Bulldogs led the first round of the tournament, finishing first after 18 holes. But by the end of the third round, the Elis had fallen to fourth place. Yale’s final score was 940, 308 in the first round, 322 in the second, and 310 in the third and final round.

“[Our] score of the second round wasn’t the greatest,” Jessica Shapiro ’06 said, “We played two solid rounds sandwich[ing] a mediocre [second round].”

The Bulldogs were led by freshman Cindy Shin ’07, who tied for fourth in the tournament with a score of 223 (70-79-74). Shin finished the first 18 holes in first place. Shin was also disappointed with her game in the second round. She experienced some pain due to a knee injury.

“I didn’t end it [the tournament] as well as I wanted to,” Shin said, “I was hitting the ball well but my knee was hurting.”

Shin said the Elis trained hard before the tournament which placed some strain on the knee. She was also playing with new golf clubs. Due to the weather in New Haven, she was unable to try out the clubs prior to the tournament.

“I just tried to ignore everything and play well,” Shin said, “I think I did okay for how much effort I put in.”

January Romero ’06 followed Shin, tying for fifth in the individual standings with a score of 228 (74-78-76). Captain Stephanie Wei ’05 finished 44th, scoring 244 (84-83-77). Lauren Ressler ’06 came in 47th with a score of 246 (80-83-83), followed by Jessica Shapiro ’06 in 55th with a score of 250 (85-82-83).

The 16 teams participating in the tournament were scheduled to play 36 holes on the first day and 18 on the second day, but the second round was cut short due to a Florida lightning storm. The Bulldogs had to wake up earlier on the second morning to finish the last four holes of round two.

The El Diablo golf course is tighter than the Yale course. Yale’s course has wide-open fairways, but the Diablo course had narrower fairways.

The greens of the Diablo were also slower due to rain.

Unlike most of the other teams competing — most of which were from southern states — Yale began spring training not long before the tournament. For many on the team, this discrepancy in practice time made a difference.

“It’s hard to come to a tournament from off season,” said Shapiro, “We are at a disadvantage compared to other teams.”

Ivy League rival Princeton came out on top of the Bulldogs at the Diablo.

The Tigers finished second behind tournament winner Western Carolina.

Despite failing to take the Diablo, the Elis were encouraged by what they saw at the tournament.

“I think it was a good start for the season,” Wei said. “I think we are only going to get better.”

Yale faces off next against fellow northeastern teams this weekend at the William and Mary Invitational in Virginia.