Over spring break, both the men’s and the women’s golf teams traveled to warmer climates for their season opening tournaments.
The Yale men’s golf team began its spring season in Eatonton, Georgia at the 54-hole Linger Longer Invitational. In the first day of the tournament, Yale tied for 12th. In the second day, Yale moved down to 13th, with Joe Willis ’16 placing 30th and captain Will Davenport ’15 placing 40th. Meanwhile, the women’s golf team traveled to Utah to participate in the Entrada Classic hosted by Brigham Young University. At the end of day one, Yale was in third place but fell down to fifth by the end of the second day. The women’s team saw strong performances from players Marika Liu ’15, who placed fifth, and Shreya Ghei ’15, who placed 14th.
“The purpose of our spring break trip is to kick start our spring season and get our games back in shape after being confined indoors all winter,” Davenport said. “Based on our scores at this tournament, I would say that it was effective.”
The 54-hole Linger Longer Invitational celebrated its 10th anniversary this year, and brought teams such as two-time defending NCAA Champion Alabama and 2012 NCAA Champion Texas to the course. Davenport said that he appreciated the team’s strong play against some of the toughest opponents in not only all of college golf, but in all of amateur golf.
Davenport said that although the team would have liked to have finished a few spots higher in the tournament, there were a lot of positives to take away from their play.
For the women’s team, their goal was to place in the top five — which they did — and make a good showing at the BYU Entrada Classic, coach Chawwadee Rompothong ’00 said.
“We exceeded our expectations by being in third place after two rounds, which was super exciting,” Rompothong said. “We were also able to keep our team score under 300.”
Jayshree Sarathy ’18 added that on top of playing against top-ranked West Coast teams, Yale had an extra challenge in that it had to keep pace with challenging opponents after not having practiced outside for several months.
Rompothong highlighted Ghei’s performance, commenting that she needed Ghei to play well this spring to make up for the absence of Sandy Wongwaiwate ’17 due to injury.
Ghei was consistent throughout the entire tournament, shooting 75–73–75. Liu was also a key player for the Elis during the Entrada Classic. She started this spring shooting under par for the first time in her college career and placing overall in a very competitive field, Rompothong said.
“I only hope we get a chance to come back out west again in the following years,” Rompothong said. “The weather in Southern California is just perfect and it allowed for us to practice efficiently everyday and get back in golf shape.”
Members of both programs said it will be difficult to move forward with the harsh weather New Haven continues to face. Both teams are waiting for the Yale golf course to open, and if it does not, they will have to resort to indoor facilities once again.
The next tournament for the women’s team is coming up on April 2 in New Jersey, while the men’s next contest will be on April 4 in New York.