While the Yale men’s golf team finished just one stroke ahead of Harvard in the MacDonald Cup this weekend, the Yale women’s golf team was on the other end of the stick, losing first place to Columbia by a margin of a single stroke at the Nittany Lion Invitational at Penn State University.
After finishing the first round of the tournament in first, the Bulldogs held a narrow one-hole lead ahead of Columbia’s total score of 297 strokes. The Elis were on top in no small part due to the efforts of Elisabeth Bernabe ’17, who shot five birdies en route to a two-under-par 70, second-best among all players on day one.
In the second round, Columbia was able to edge out Yale for the lead, earning a score of 301, just two points ahead of Yale’s score of 303. The Elis were unable to regain their lead on the final day of competition, tying with Columbia in the third round with a score of 296 and finishing one shot behind the Lions overall.
“We were just trailing by one after the second day, and so we knew we had to commit ourselves on the third day and commit to it shot by shot,” captain Marika Liu ’15 said. “The third day was actually one of the worst weather conditions. It was just 30 degrees, and it was freezing. No one could feel their hands.”
The rain in New Haven over the weekend missed Pennsylvania, but weather conditions were still far from favorable. Amid high winds and low temperatures, the players were forced to adjust their games to accommodate for the adverse conditions.
Notwithstanding the climate, the Elis were the only team at the tournament to have three individuals finish in the top 10. Sandy Wongwaiwate ’17 placed fifth, Liu eighth and Bernabe ninth.
“It was the first time this fall that we have ever had to wear rain gear or cold weather gear,” Caroline Rouse ’17 said. “I was really proud of the team for persevering through the changing weather, and I was especially proud that we were the only team at the tournament to have three individuals finish in the top 10.”
After the first round, the team took Wongwaiwate to their physical therapist because she was battling some back issues. Against those odds, she came back and had an impressive showing on the second day, draining a long downhill putt from the back fringe for eagle to shoot one-under-par. That earned her the lowest score among all players competing in the second round.
Despite having lost to Columbia, the Bulldogs have come off their most recent tournament more motivated than ever. According to many of the team members, losing by only one shot is a result that has kept them hungry and shown that they are on the hunt to win. With a strong start to the season, the Yale Women’s Golf Team has come off with a strong mindset for their next tournament, which is the Princeton Invitational, the last before the offseason. Though they have just one team victory, the Elis have finished among the top five teams in all three of their tournaments this season.
“I think there’s always room for improvement,” head coach Chawwadee Rompothong ’00 said. “I’m proud of how the team performed. They really stayed in the shot, and they fought for everything.”
The team next competes at the Princeton Invitational from Oct. 17-19.