The Yale women’s golf team hosted 14 other teams for the Yale Women’s Intercollegiate tournament this weekend. Senior and captain Jennifer Peng ’18 led the Bulldogs to a seventh-place overall finish, and claimed 14th place individually, on the Elis home course.
Yale improved on its last-place finish at the Princeton Invitational last week by finishing in the top half of the 15-team playing field this weekend on its home course. In a diverse tournament — which included regional schools like Quinnipiac University as well as Scottish golf powerhouse University of Stirling — the Elis put up a strong showing and finished ahead of Ancient Eight opponents Columbia, Penn and Princeton, all of which had bested the Elis earlier this season.
“The team’s goal was to stay focused on their own games and to stay flexible and positive in the face of adversity,” Peng said of the weekend. “The team did a good job [because] the course was playing tougher than usual so I was really proud of how everyone was able to adjust to that.”
At the end of the first round of competition, Yale had secured sixth place, thanks to strong individual performances from Felicia Chang ’20 and Julie Luo ’19. Chang, who placed 11th and 16th respectively in the Bucknell Invite and Princeton Invitational, recorded birdies on holes three, 11 and 16. She finished in a tie for seventh place at the end of day one. Not far behind was teammate Luo, who sat in the top 20 of the leaderboards.
Throughout the second round, on Saturday, Peng found her stroke and shot up the leaderboards to 14th place. Last year’s Ivy League Player of the Year birdied three times during her next 18 holes to finish with an impressive score of 71 on the day. Peng said that focusing on each shot, staying present and being patient were crucial for her second round. The New Jersey native has been Yale’s top finisher in two out of three of the team’s fall tournaments.
After completing her second round, Chang finished in a tie for 16th place. Both she and teammate Luo tallied a score of 77 on Saturday.
“We were able to see a breakthrough in Chang who was able to shoot a sub 75 round,” head coach Chawwadee Rompothong said. “I would like to see more players shoot low rounds occasionally while handling bad days better, which is what I saw this weekend in everyone.”
Rounding out Yale’s top five scorers were Gabrielle Desombre ’21 and Jayshree Sarathy ’18. The duo both lowered their scores on the second day of competition, recording a 76 and 78, respectively. At the conclusion of the second round, the Elis had maintained their footing in the top half of the playing field and secured seventh place overall.
Unfortunately, because of heavy rain in New Haven, Sunday morning’s final round was officially cancelled. Due to the early termination of the tournament, the Bulldogs missed the chance to move up further on the leaderboard and the final results came from just Friday and Saturday’s rounds. While the team expressed disappointment about the premature conclusion of the tournament, Sarathy applauded the team’s overall momentum and said the team is already looking ahead at its opportunities next spring with such a talented roster.
As this weekend’s event was the final fall tournament, Yale will not compete again until next March. Overall, the fall campaign was successful for the Bulldogs, who won their first tournament, the Bucknell Invite, to kick off the season.
“We were able to build a ton of confidence,” Sarathy said. “We started off strong by winning the Bucknell Invitational and kept the momentum going despite a few tough rounds throughout the season. We are excited to sharpen our games over the offseason, focus on playing to our strengths and come out strong in the spring.”
Until the spring, the Eli squad has time to hone in on the aspects of individual play that need attention and focus on conditioning and strength training in preparation for spring tournaments, and ultimately vying for a shot at an Ivy League title in April.
Yale will travel to California over spring break to compete in the Monterey Otter Invitational to open up its spring season.
Jane Miller | firstname.lastname@example.org