Steve Musco

Following a somewhat disappointing three weeks of tournaments, the Yale women’s golf team concluded their fall season this weekend at the Yale Invitational by placing seventh out of 17 teams.

Held at The Course at Yale, the event consisted of three 71-par rounds dispersed over three days. After the first day of competition, the Bulldogs carded a 31-over 319, placing them midway in the standings at ninth overall. But, the team once again rose two spots over the following rounds, closing out with a composite score of 918. Yale finished in the top half of teams for the first time this fall. Despite this noticeable improvement, Boston University claimed a close victory on Yale soil with a strong performance from first-year and individual champion Hanako Kawasaki.

“Everyone on the team is simply doing great and learning from previous rounds,” captain Julie Luo ’19 said. “We’ll continue putting in work during the off season and continue the trend in the spring.”

Tied at 20th overall individually, Luo earned a total of 227, 14 over par, placing her second on the Bulldogs’ stat sheet. This result was a big advancement from last week when she finished 53rd at the Princeton Invitational.

Sophomore Lucy Liu ’21 and walk-on Dana Branstetter ’22 carded final scores of a 47-over-par 260 and a 42-over-par 255 respectively, rounding out the Yale stat sheet. For her first invitational, Branstetter began with a below average 12-over, 83, in the first round but continued to slip to 81st overall as the tournament progressed. Despite swinging an unfortunate 89 on the first day, Liu’s following scores of 83 and 88 resulted in her tie at 88th overall.

First year Coco Chai ’22 and sophomore Gabbie DeSombre ’21 earned final scores of a 25-over 238, and 17-over 230, filling in the middle of the stat sheet for the Elis. Chai carded two solid 74s, but her Saturday round of an 82 brought her individual placement down to a four-way tie for 32nd. DeSombre began the tournament slowly and recorded 83 and 82 respectively on the first two rounds, which were followed by an impressive 73 to end her sophomore fall season tied for 49th overall.

“To prepare for the spring season, each of us will keep working on our strengths and weaknesses,” Chai said. “I’m most excited about golf in the spring because playing competitively is the best way to strengthen our game.”

Rookie Ami Gianchandani ’22 led the team once again in scoring for the invitational with her composite score of 223, 10 over par. On the first day of the tournament, Gianchandani swung an atypical 81, but redeemed her score by eventually earning a 70 and 73. Gianchandani’s final placement of 12th overall marks the completion of her first and highly successful fall season, filled with two individual championships.

“The biggest difference between the first and second day was that on the first day I was more nervous and felt a lot of pressure to play well and to win the tournament,” Gianchandani said. “By the second day, I had calmed down and focused less on the outcome and more on each shot.”

Having completed four collegiate tournaments, the Elis have successfully improved upon each prior performance, which culminated in the positive Yale Invitational results. As the fall 2018 season comes to an end, many team members look forward to the upcoming, higher-stakes, spring playoff season and acknowledge the Yale Intercollegiate as a potential turning point toward success.

“We improved a lot on the last day, and we were able to finish on a high note as a team,” Chai said. “It’ll be a very special memory.”

Ethan Williams | ethan.williams@yale.edu