The Yale women’s golf team is gearing to defend its home course this weekend against 14 rivals, including a Scottish team from the University of Stirling.
The tournament, which will be played at The Course at Yale, will range over three rounds from Oct. 4 to 6. Teams from Boston College, Boston University, Charlotte, Columbia, Delaware, Georgetown, Hartford, Harvard, Penn, Princeton and Quinnipiac will participate. While Yale’s head coach Lauren Harling has not yet set a lineup, the players that don’t make the roster of five will be competing as individuals. The four best scores of each lineup are counted for the team’s total tally.
“Hosting at home comes with its own set of pressure and expectations,” Harling said. “We will stay focused on playing each shot and analyzing each situation as they come. Whether we are at home or on the road, golf shots are golf shots. Staying focused and in the moment will allow this team to show what they can do at home this weekend.”
The Bulldogs are looking to improve on last year’s sixth-place finish at home and continue the strong play they put on display in last weekend’s fourth-place showing at Princeton. Sophomore sensation Ami Gianchandani ’22 was Yale’s best player in the past edition of the tournament and she will seek to build on her victory at the Princeton Invitational by taking advantage of her home course.
The Course at Yale is consistently ranked by Golfweek magazine as the best college golf course in the country. One of the signature features of the course is an iconic par-3 ninth hole called “Biarritz,” which has an incredibly difficult green with an eight-foot depression separating the front and back. Knowledge and experience of how to play these holes will help the Elis establish home field advantage.
“We have been working hard on all aspects of our games [these] past few weeks and can’t wait to put it all together on the Yale Golf Course,” captain Beryl Wang ’20 said. “This week, we are preparing by spending time on the course and getting comfortable with some of the trickier shots out there. We are looking to capitalize on our home course advantage, as we are lucky enough to play most of our qualifying rounds on this course.”
Another important factor will be the weather on the course. Last weekend, the Yale men’s golf team hosted the MacDonald Cup with great weather on both days of the tournament. The forecast for the women’s tournament points to cooler temperatures and stronger winds, which will make play a lot more challenging for participants.
The staff at The Course at Yale has been working all week to prepare the course for the tournament, Director Peter Pulaski said. Pulaski has also been the co-tournament director for three NCAA Regionals at Yale — 2004, 2010 and 2015.
“Our staff does a great job in their daily maintenance practices so to prepare for a tournament,” Pulaski said. “The main focus is on working with our coaches on the yardage of the course they would like to play, and locations of the pins on each round. The course setup is vital especially if [the] weather may play a role in the tournament.”
The Elis will tee off on Friday and Saturday at 8:30 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. on Sunday.
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