It has been three years.
It has been three years since the Yale women’s golf team mustered up the power to beat the daunting Princeton Tigers and bring home the Ivy League crown.
Now, the wait is over, the clouds are clearing, and the Elis can proudly call themselves league champions. The Bulldogs awoke Sunday morning ready to get back to the golf course to widen their six stroke lead over second-place Harvard, but the rain put a damper on their ambitions. The tournament ended, and the officials handed over the first place trophy to Yale after 27 holes of play on Saturday. Even Saturday’s schedule to play 36 holes was cut short after the women played through 27 in poor weather.
Despite the rain and the cancelled rounds, the Elis maintained the high standard of play they have shown all year. Each of the five Eli golfers finished in the top 20, placing Yale 56 over par with a composite score of 488.
Cindy Shin ’07, who has had an exceptional year posting leading scores for the Elis, lived up to her expectations and landed a second-place finish overall. Shin shot a 78 on the first round of 18 holes and a 38 on the last nine with a 10 stroke over par finish. Shin barely missed Harvard’s Emily Balmert, who shot 7 strokes over to come in first.
Disregarding her excellent finish, Shin said she felt she could have done much better and that, to her, the biggest win was that of the team.
“I was trying to be really positive out there, but there were situations that I could not control,” Shin said. “I kind of wish I could go back and play the holes over again.”
Recriminations aside, the other Bulldogs met with similar triumph. Captain January Romero ’06, who finished second at the Lady Hoyas Invitational three weeks ago, continued her success by tying for third, shooting 13 strokes over. Ellie Brophy ’08 showed her merit, tying for eighth at 15 strokes over. Lindsay Hong ’08 came in 15th, and Jeehae Lee ’06 finished tied for 20th.
Yale head coach Chawwadee Rompothong said she trudged through the wet course on foot to watch the team top Harvard, but she said she was extremely happy to bring home the title.
“It feels amazing, and it’s really nice to bring [the trophy] back,” Rompothong said. “The girls worked really hard, and to see our hard work pay off was great.”
Even though the Elis won what they consider to be the most important tournament of the year, they are not finished. The team still has to play in the NCAA Regional May 11. Rompothong said the Elis will celebrate this weekend’s win by working even harder to dazzle the competition at the regional.
Romero attributed much of the Bulldogs’ success to Rompothong’s forward-looking perspective and devotion.
“[Coach Rompothong] was amazing and she did a great job,” Romero said.