The Yale women’s golf team escaped the New England rain this weekend to compete in the Rebel Intercollegiate Golf Tournament, held at Ole Miss. Facing some tough national competition that included Harvard, the Bulldogs ended up taking 14th in a field of 15 schools.
In a three-day tournament, five Eli golfers combined to shoot a 931 (+67) on the par-72 course in Oxford, Mississippi, just one stroke behind 13th-place James Madison. While Yale opened strong with a 307 in Friday’s first round — good for eighth place after one day — they faltered with a 318 in the second before ending the tournament with a 306 on Sunday, their best performance of the weekend. Jennifer Peng ’18 recorded the top performance for the Bulldogs, with a 229 (+13) over the 54 holes.
“Peng has been able to produce a low score despite being out for most of the spring due to a wrist injury,” head coach Chawwadee Rompothong ’00 said. “I see her improving each day as she is able to practice more now.”
Peng started strong in the first round with a 74 (+2), consisting of a birdie and three bogeys on the front nine and pars on all of the back-nine holes. After shooting a 79 in the second round, the sophomore finished with a 76, going even on the front nine.
Following only a few shots behind Peng was Julie Luo ’19, who, along with Sandy Wongwaiwate ’17, tied for the team lead with six birdies. After shooting a 78 and 79 in the first two rounds, Luo matched Peng’s top performance by tallying a 74 of her own, consisting of a front nine in which she shot par with two birdies. In the other six-birdie performance, Wongwaiwate shot a 237 (+21), which included a 77 in the first round.
“I was really impressed with how Julie played this past weekend,” Peng said. “This was her first tournament of the spring season, she was very consistent and I could see her hard work paid off.”
One of the highlights of the weekend for Elisabeth Bernabe ’17 and Yale overall came on Friday, when the junior eagled the par-five second hole. She would ultimately finish with a 238 (+22), fifth best on the team.
Deanna Song ’16, the team’s lone senior, finished three strokes better than Bernabe. Her 235 (+19) was the third-best scorecard for the Bulldogs, while Jayshree Sarathy ’18, competing as an individual in the tournament, shot a 243 (+34) to round out the Yale golfers.
“I thought Jayshree Sarathy played really well last weekend,” Luo said. “As a short hitter on a long course, it played very tricky for her, but she focused and tried really hard on every shot and was able to play well. She was even making up-and-down [shots] from 70–80 yards out for par.”
The winner of the tournament was Troy University, which shot an 871 in 54 holes. Harvard, which beat Yale by just one stroke in last year’s Ivy League Championship, finished 36 strokes ahead of Yale this weekend with an 895 (+31), good enough to tie for third place.
While Yale struggled on the longer parts of the course, the Bulldogs finished only five strokes behind the leader in the par-three category, as well as tallying the seventh-most pars overall.
“I love that the team kept on fighting and learning from each day and each tournament,” Rompothong said. “I feel that we are heading in the right direction.”
The Bulldogs look toward the River Landing Classic in North Carolina next weekend. The Yale men’s team, meanwhile, will return to action in the Princeton Invitational.