The Yale women’s golf team finished third in their first home tournament of the year this weekend against 14 opponents from near and far.
At the tournament, Ami Gianchandani ’22 defended Yale’s home course and notched her second win in a row. Meanwhile, the Bulldog team failed to close on a 10-stroke lead going into Sunday and finished third.
This weekend’s tournament took place over three days and featured tough competition, including a team from Scotland, the University of Stirling. Charlotte won the tournament after moving up two spots in the final day by posting the best team round of 280.
On Saturday, Gianchandani posted the best individual round of 65 which helped her beat Harvard’s Anina Ku by four strokes. After shooting 289 and 282 on the first two days, respectively, the Elis bumped up to 297 in the third round to finish five strokes behind the leader and one stroke behind second.
“It was a goal of mine to win our home tournament this year. I wanted to win this tournament more than any other this year and I am beyond thrilled to have done so,” Gianchadani said. “My putting was great all weekend which was really the key to playing well … Even though we couldn’t secure the win this weekend, I am excited for the team going forward.”
Gianchandani capitalized on the momentum of her strong play this season. The Ezra Stiles sophomore was coming off a win at Princeton and a second-place finish at Dartmouth. Gianchandani’s eagle in the fourth hole of her second round was the climax of her great performance this weekend. Gianchandani led the tournament with 12 birdies.
Yale’s solid play on the course came in spite of harsh conditions. The course was tough on competitors this weekend with winds reaching up to 20 mph on Sunday. The pin placement this weekend was another factor that made play challenging. The course setup resembled championship level conditions to challenge the field.
“Even with the windy and difficult weather conditions, we managed to stick to our game plan of hitting one good golf shot after the next,” captain Beryl Wang ’20 said. “Going into the final round with the lead is always pressure-inducing and unfortunately we didn’t manage to pull it off this time. However, we have learned a lot from this experience and will be much better prepared the next time we find ourselves in this position.”
Alternating course conditions affected all players. The first round had the highest average scores of 78.55. These averages dropped with easier weather on Saturday and led to a drop in strokes to around 76 and a small uptick on Sunday due to fast winds to 76.39. However, the players’ knowledge of the course after two rounds of play seemed to offset some of the challenges that the course offered on the final day.
Yale’s underlying statistics also showed strong levels of golf this weekend. Yale was the third best team in terms of par-4 and par-5 averages and pars: 4.18, 4.78 and 175 respectively. Yale rookie Amy Zhang ’23 co-led the field in par-5 average, 4.56, tied with two Charlotte players Ellinor Sudow and Siarra Stout.
“I honestly couldn’t be more proud of [the team],” head coach Lauren Harling said. “They played with so much determination and so much heart … I don’t know what the history books look like, but [Yale’s team score of 282 on Saturday] very well could be the best score in program history.”
The Bulldogs tee up this weekend for the last tournament of the fall in Austin, TX at the Betsy Rawls Invitational hosted by Texas.
Eugenio Garza Garcia | email@example.com