Following a challenging season, the Yale women’s golf team looks to rebound this year with a new coach, three first-year reinforcements and continued strong performances from returning players.
After the departure of head coach Chawwadee Rompothong after 14 seasons, Indiana University’s associate head coach Lauren Harling takes over the helm of the team this fall. Harling, who spent eight campaigns with the Hoosiers, helped lead the team this spring to its first NCAA Championship appearance since 2007. She brings her expertise to a Bulldogs squad that finished sixth out of seven teams at the Ivy League Championships last spring.
“I’m so thrilled to be part of the Eli family and lead the women’s golf program,” Harling said. “I’m hoping to take the competition up a notch. You will immediately see this taking place due to a stronger schedule. … If we can prepare ourselves on that level, [we] will be much more prepared to compete against the best teams in the country.”
Harling is implementing a new practice structure, including the use of a new statistics software: AnovaGolf. The tool can track over 700 different components of an individual’s game in order to quantify strokes gained and other metrics. The Bulldogs will be using this program to prepare for tournaments.
Last season was hard on the understaffed Elis. Yale only had six players on the team, five of which played in every tournament. But with the addition of new first years Kaitlyn Lee ’23, Ashley Au ’23 and Amy Zhang ’23 this year, Yale’s women’s golf team now has a complete roster of nine players who are ready to compete for those tournament spots.
“Getting to know coach Rompothong during the recruiting process was such an incredible opportunity,” Lee said. “I’ve learned so much from talking with her, and I’m going to miss having her around. At the same time, it only took a couple of days for me to tell that coach Harling is and is going to be amazing.”
Headed by captain and senior Beryl Wang ’20, the rest of the squad consists of three sophomores and two juniors in addition to the three first years.
One of the returning sophomores, Ivy League Player and Rookie of the Year Ami Gianchandani ’22, is only the second Yalie to win both honors simultaneously. Her strong play last season included wins at Dartmouth, Princeton and the Pinehurst Invitational and a fourth-place finish at the Ivy League Championships.
“As a team, we have a lot to look forward to,” Gianchandani said. “We are a very young team with great new first years who will bring some more spirit, vigor and not to forget talent to our tournaments. We have a well-balanced schedule, and I am excited to see if we can get a win this fall.”
The team is currently preparing for a four-tournament semester, which starts with the two-day Dartmouth Invitational on Sept. 14 and 15. Yale’s internal qualifying for that tournament is already underway, having started this past Labor Day weekend.
The Bulldogs then go on to Princeton two weeks after their first tournament before coming back to the Yale Invitational for a three-day span, from Oct. 4 to 6. The fall leg of the Elis’ season ends a week later in Austin, Texas, at the Betsy Rawls Invitational.
Yale has won the Ivy League Championship seven times since the tournament began in 1997.
Eugenio Garza Garcia | firstname.lastname@example.org