The women’s golf team has a lot of things going for it.
The Bulldogs have consistently topped the other Ivy teams at their invitationals, the spring weather has allowed them to move from indoors to outdoors, and this weekend they proved themselves worthy of an Ancient Eight crown.
But they still aren’t satisfied.
The Elis inched past Princeton and Columbia at the Lady Hoya Invitational in Leesburg, Va., to take second overall. Falling short of Georgetown by 17 strokes, the Bulldogs shot a combined 629, beating Princeton by three and Columbia by eight.
The Elis said this was one of their more difficult tournaments due to challenging conditions, despite their high finish. The invitational was held at the Raspberry Falls Golf and Hunt Club, which is known for its long par fours and par fives, making the course difficult for college golfers. In addition, the Bulldogs said windy conditions and aerated greens made it near impossible to judge their drives and puts.
The team fought the weather through 18 holes both days, staying in second place the whole time. On Saturday, the Elis finished only four strokes behind Georgetown, shooting a 314. The Bulldogs shot a 315 Sunday, staying their ground, but the Hoyas shot a 302 and Princeton climbed from fifth to third by shooting a 307.
Captain January Romero ’06 topped the Elis’ individuals list by finishing second overall, tying with Princeton’s formidable Sharla Cloutier. Romero shot a combined 153, placing her ten strokes behind the Hoyas’ Christy Larrimore, the individual winner.
Jeehae Lee ’06 ended Saturday tied with Romero for third, but she dropped down to sixth with a 155.
Ellie Brophy ’08, who broke through with a sixth place finish at the SunTrust tournament over spring break, placed 19th, shooting a 161. Lindsay Hong ’08 fared little better with her 15th-place, 160-stroke finish.
In the wake of Yale’s performance, Yale head coach Chawwadee Rompothong offered some criticism and some praise.
“I think we did really well for the most part, beating everyone in the Ivy section,” Rompothong said. “[But] we definitely didn’t play our best.”
Cindy Shin ’07 echoed Rompothong and said she was less than content with her tie for 28th with 164 strokes. Shin said that she was thrown off by the aerated greens, because there were holes all over. Still, Shin carried the brunt of the blame, saying that she just did not play her best.
The Bulldogs’ win over Princeton is definitely a reason for rejoicing and working even harder. The Tigers have taken home the Ivy cup for the past two years, but after this tournament, the Bulldogs’ record against Princeton this year is 3-2. There is a good chance that Yale will come back from the Ivy tournament with a first place trophy, but only if it can work out its remaining kinks and maintain a lower margin above the other teams.
Hong said the team will continue to attack its weaknesses to get in shape for the championship.
“We have two weeks to work on our game and I think especially from this tournament we’ve learned what we need to work on,” she said.
The Elis have made an impressive showing all year, but now they have one concern: winning the cup. They will get their chance when they tee off in Crystal Springs, N.J. on April 21st.