Both the Yale men’s and the women’s golf teams overcame significant challenges at their respective tournaments this past week.
The men traveled to Purchase, New York to compete in the Met Intercollegiate tournament on Saturday. Despite brutal weather conditions, with temperatures under 40 degrees and wind gusts of over 30 miles per hour, Yale finished in fourth place behind Harvard, who finished third, and Temple, the tournament’s winner. Meanwhile, the women participated in the Seton Hall Pirate Invitational in Bedminster, New Jersey. The Bulldogs finished the first day in 11th place but moved up to seventh by the tournament’s end.
“The main goal was to shoot 300 or less and try to win the event, and we were far from it unfortunately,” women’s head coach Chawwadee Rompothong ’00 said.
Rompothong attributed the team’s poor performance mainly to the fact that they did not get a practice round before playing on the first day. Because the two-day tournament began on Thursday, in order to play a practice round, the Bulldogs would have had to miss an additional day of classes on Wednesday.
Elisabeth Bernabe ’17 stressed that while the upperclassmen had an easier time because they had seen the course before, the lack of familiarity with the terrain was an added complication for the freshmen.
“It’s tough playing a golf course for the first time … there are so many factors that contribute to the difficulty of the course like water hazards, weather conditions, tall grass,” Bernabe said. “We were not fully prepared during the first round and it took time to adjust and learn.”
After the first round, the Bulldogs would score the second lowest round two score — taking them up to seventh place. Their second round score was 304, two strokes behind Georgia’s 302. Georgia placed first in the tournament.
In addition to an unknown court, the Yale women’s team also had to play without their captain, Marika Liu ’15. Liu said she had been sick with the flu for several days before the tournament.
“It was difficult not having Marika for her leadership and of course her play,” Rompothong said. “We needed her this past weekend.”
Despite their captain’s absence, the Elis had two players finish in the top 15. Jennifer Peng ’18 tied for sixth place, while Bernabe tied for 15th.
Rompothong said both players have been showing great consistency and have been able to post solid scores throughout this spring season.
Despite the harsh weather conditions, the men’s team fared better but still performed below their expectations for the tournament.
“We came in as the highest ranked team in the field, so our material goal was to win the golf tournament,” captain Will Davenport ’15 said. “Unfortunately, this was not accomplished.”
However, Davenport added that he was pleased the team was able to play rounds in difficult conditions that tested their resolve. Having experience in these types of conditions will be beneficial going forward, he said.
The men’s team also snatched four top-15 positions. Henry Cassriel ’18 was the best placed Eli, finishing third in the event. Li Wang ’17 finished tied for fourth, and both Thomas Greenhalgh ’15 and Davenport finished in the top 15.
Both teams are now practicing for their next tournaments. With spring finally arriving, the Yale Golf Course has opened up and normal practices have started this week, Cassriel said. Previously, the course had been covered with snow.
Ivy League play will start this weekend for both teams. The men’s team will play the Princeton Invitational on April 11, and the women’s team will play the Brown Invitational on April 12 and 13.