After an eighth-place finish at the Hartford Invitational last weekend, the Yale women’s golf team heads to the Ivy League Championships on Friday, hoping to redeem itself after an underwhelming finish at Ivies last spring.
With a spring schedule consisting of just three tournaments, the Bulldogs entered the championships with a mixed bag of performances this season. The three-day championships will be held at Metedeconk National Golf Club in New Jersey, and the Bulldogs enter hoping to improve on last year’s seventh-place finish. The Elis will bring a balanced roster of five players spanning all four years, including captain Jennifer Peng ’18, Jayshree Sarathy ’18, Julie Luo ’19, Beryl Wang ’20 and Gabrielle DeSombre ’21.
“We feel great going into this weekend,” Luo said. “We have both of our seniors here for their final tournament, which is really exciting and emotional. It’s a tough course that’ll definitely be a challenge, but we’re excited nonetheless.”
At the one-round Hartford Invitational this weekend, Yale finished eighth out of 10 teams in a pool of strong competition, including Ivy rival Dartmouth, who finished third. Luo finished 13th individually to continue her dominant streak this season with a 77 (+5). In one of her strongest performances this year, Wang was close on her heels with a stellar 78 (+6). Just behind Wang was Peng with a 79 (+7), a score that demonstrates the consistency of Yale’s captain in her final event before championships.
At the 2017 Ivy Championships, the Elis began with a disappointing first-round score of 334. Although this dip took the team out of title contention early on, the team improved its performance each day of the event, following it up with a 315 in the second round and 303 in the final round, the latter of which was highlighted by Peng’s one-over comeback round of 73 (+1).
Jennifer Peng, the reigning Ivy League Player of the Year, is widely expected to contribute a top score at the championships after winning the event at the end of her sophomore season. She leads her team with consistently strong play, and her three years of experience in Ivy Championships will be critical this Friday.
“The course is in great condition and there are lots of opportunities to go low,” Peng said. “We will be focusing on ourselves and our game, and we’re excited to see what happens.”
Also competing this Friday is fellow senior Sarathy, whose play in the event marks her Ivy Championship debut. Although Sarathy has not competed since March, her strong play in the fall season included her first individual tournament win at the Bucknell Invitational, which will be invaluable experience at the Ivy finale.
Rounding out the upper-level students is Luo, who has been on a tear this spring season. Luo finished first for the Bulldogs in her last two events, which included winning the Navy Invitational two weeks ago. Luo is playing at the top of her game, and her previous experience at Ivy Championships will further boost her confidence this Friday.
Wang returns to the Ivy League Championships after a stellar performance in her inaugural event last year, in which her 12th-place finish led the Elis despite her status as a first year. Wang’s play has improved this season, with her second-place finish at the Hartford Invitational indicating her built-up momentum heading into the tournament.
DeSombre has stormed onto the scene in her first year, as she has two top-10 finishes this season including an eighth-place finish at the Navy Invitational. She will compete at her first Ivy Championships alongside her veteran teammates.
“Everyone looks to be in top form both mentally and game-wise,” DeSombre said. “I’m extremely excited to be competing in my first Ivy League Championships, and I think Yale could finish atop the scoreboard.”
The Elis expressed the belief that the hard work they put in this year will lead them to success that will surprise their rivals and redeem last year’s performance. During the 2017–18 season, the Bulldogs have competed with relative consistency, punctuated by key wins, most recently at the Navy Invitational this month.
The 22nd annual Ivy League Championship will begin at Metedeconk National Country Club in Jackson, New Jersey, on Friday.
Alex Reedy | firstname.lastname@example.org .