After playing only two collegiate golf tournaments, Seo Hee Moon ’14 already has two individual wins under her belt and a record for the lowest women’s round of golf ever played on the Yale Golf Course — a 67.
And while captain Alyssa Roland ’11 said most golfers face some bumps transitioning from individual tournaments while in high school to playing for a team in college, Moon has relished this new playing experience.
“I don’t feel like I have to play for myself anymore,” Moon said. “I have a support group behind me, and we’re all in it together.”
Moon, who began playing golf at age three, said she did not enjoy the sport at first because it took too much time away from friends and schoolwork. However, her father, a golf professional and Moon’s coach, pushed his daughter to continue playing. Eventually, Moon said, golf became a natural part of her life, particularly the competitive aspect of the sport.
“Good golfers love the competition,” Head coach Chawwadee Rompothong ’00 said. “She relishes it. She gives it all she can, and steps it up a notch when she is head-to-head with someone she wants to beat.”
Rompothong attributed Moon’s strong mental game to her victories in junior golf. Because Moon has proven to herself that she is capable of performing under pressure, she has the mental strength to win.
Moon, a native of Mukilteo, Wash., began playing on the junior golf circuit in her home state at age 10. Moon said winning the first junior tournament she entered marked the beginning of her career. At age 13, she made the jump from the state to the national level. Moon estimates that since age 13, she has played in about 40 tournaments across the country. During that time, Moon took first place at the 2007 Coca-Cola Junior Championship at Boyne Highlands and at the 2009 AJGA Junior at Wenatchee.
Moon said she knew she wanted to play Division I golf in college and initially wanted to go to a southern state where the weather is nice year-round.
“I thought about it and decided that if golf didn’t work out for me in the future, I would want a strong educational background, so I decided to come to Yale,” Moon said.
Rompothong added that while Moon actually contacted her about Yale, the freshman was a highly recruited player because of her very successful junior career. Rompothong said Moon had offers from Pac-10 schools, but she came out to the East for a tournament and fell in love with Yale.
And the women’s team has been equally pleased with having her as one of their newest teammates.
Roland said having such a good player has forced every golfer on the team to step up her game.
Harriet Owers-Bradley ’11 added that she has never seen someone shoot a 67 or play with such composure while doing so in her four years on the team.
“She is one of best players we have had in a long time,” Owers-Bradley said. “These are early days, but she has such great potential. It’s really exciting.”