Eli golfer January Romero ’06 was at the top of her game this weekend at the William and Mary Invitational, leading the Bulldogs to a second place finish, while capturing the individual tournament title for herself. Yale faced 20 teams in two rounds of 18 at the Ford’s Colony-Marsh Hawk course in Williamsburg, Va.

The Bulldogs scored 621 (307-314) as a team, one stroke less than Ivy League rival Princeton who scored 622 (311-311). Tournament winners James Madison University came in only three strokes under the Bulldogs, for a score of 618 (310-308).

“Overall, we had a very successful weekend at William and Mary,” Yale head coach Mary Moan said. “It was really exciting for us to edge out Princeton for the first time since Ivies last year.”

Romero shot a 145 (76-69). She attributed her second round three-under 69 to a strong putting performance.

“On my way to shooting a 69 I think I have to say that I was putting like my putting idol, Daniel Levy ’06,” Romero said.

Daniel Levy, one of the Yale men’s golf team’s best putters, is good enough to use a long putter, a rare feat in college golf.

Cindy Shin ’07 came in third at William and Mary, with a score of 152 (73-79). Jessica Shapiro ’06 swung in with an overall score of 161 (78-83) to finish 40th. Shapiro was followed closely by teammates Lauren Ressler ’06 in 52nd place with a score of 163 (80-83), and Stephanie Wei, in 56th with a score of 164 (81-83).

The Bulldogs led the tournament after the first round, with a score of 307, three strokes ahead of James Madison. The Elis then had some trouble maintaining consistency, with everyone except Romero scoring higher in the second round than they did in the first.

“I struggled a lot in the second round and there were a lot of inconsistencies, so I was disappointed,” Shin said.

Shin was actually in first place after the first round of play, but added seven strokes to her score in the second round, resulting in a third place finish. Shin previously finished ahead of Romero at the Lady Herd/El Diablo Invitational during spring break, showing just how close the team is in terms of talent.

“Any given week each one of them [the Yale women] can step up and compete with the best players in the region and Ivy League and come out on top,” Moan said. “Having this much depth is really exciting and elevates the team competitiveness.”

Part of what made Romero’s victory so exceptional was the fact that conditions were more difficult on Sunday. William and Mary’s course was difficult to play on because it was completely dry and brown. Before the tournament, cold temperatures in Virginia and New Haven made it difficult for the Elis to practice. The Bulldogs were also focused on catching up with schoolwork the week before the tournament.

“After spring break we were focused on reading and catching up with school,” Shin said, “We only had a few days to rest [after the spring break trip] before we had to pack up again to play.”

While the Yale did succeed in its goal of beating Princeton this weekend, it is still looking to build confidence and improve its performance ahead of its next tournament at James Madison University.

“This team is very capable of contending at JMU and it would be nice to add a first place finish to our 4th and 2nd place finishes thus far this spring,” Moan said.