Despite winning their tournaments this past weekend, both the men’s and women’s golf teams are already looking ahead to their next challenges.
The men’s team, fresh off a victory at the Princeton Invitational, is getting ready to host the Yale Spring Invitational this Saturday and Sunday. This time, the Elis have the advantage of playing on their home turf here at the recently opened Yale Golf Course. The women’s team also won their most recent tournament — the last one before entering Ivy play. Although the Elis will get this weekend off from competing, they are already preparing for the Ivy Championship, which will take place across the three-day span of April 24 to April 26.
“Our team feels confident and prepared going into the Spring Invite,” captain Will Davenport ’15 said. “Playing on our home turf is an advantage, and it definitely will give us an edge as we try to take down some of the best teams in the nation this week.”
Opened in 1926 and designed by architect Charles Blair MacDonald, the course is par 70.6850 and rated the top university course in America.
The tournament will be a 54-hole tournament, with 36 holes on Saturday and 18 holes on Sunday. Pairings on Sunday will be based on Saturday’s results.
“Playing at home is always an exciting opportunity,” Thomas Greenhalgh ’15 said. “We all have great knowledge of the course and hopefully we will have some friends and family out there cheering us on.”
Few of Yale’s Ivy League competitors will be present on the field this weekend — only Brown and Harvard are making the trip down to New Haven. Harvard not only is the defending team champion, but also holds the defending medalist.
Greenhalgh said there will be many strong teams playing this week, notably Wake Forest, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Duke.
Davenport, however, is confident in the Bulldogs. He said any Yale player is capable of stepping up and playing superior golf.
“Our goal is the same every week: win,” Davenport said. “That will be a tall order given the strength of this field, but these Bulldogs are more than capable of bringing home the trophy, especially in our own house.”
While the men’s team is focused on performing at home, the women’s team is taking the next several days to prepare for their Ivy League Championship.
Elisabeth Bernabe ’17, who tied for first place during the Brown Bear Invitational last weekend, said she is feeling very confident after her win. She added that everyone on the team has been playing well lately, and that the consistency of this year’s team is what has made it so strong.
“Winning Brown I think definitely helped to increase our team confidence and momentum going into Ivies,” Jennifer Peng ’18 said. “I think the success we’ve had so far has been a combination of everyone’s efforts.”
Captain Marika Liu ’15 said the team atmosphere has been great since the win at Brown and that players are taking advantage of the nice weather to practice more varied and dynamic shots. This has been a fantastic season so far for the Bulldogs, with four victories in seven tournaments — noticeably better than previous years, Liu said.
This will also be the last Ivy Championship and tournament for the senior players on the golf team. In addition to Liu, there are two other seniors on the team — Shreya Ghei ’15 and Caroline Rouse ’15.
“I’m definitely nostalgic to be playing in my last Ivies but at the same time am really excited to lead my team and see what these brilliant women can accomplish on the course,” Liu said.
In 1988, Golf Magazine ranked the Yale Golf Course 71st among the 100 most difficult courses in the world.