The Yale women’s golf team will be traveling to a land where the competition — much like the state — is bigger, as they head to Texas for the Betsy Rawls Invitational.
The Bulldogs will be one of 15 teams competing in the 46th edition of the tournament. The format of play will have the Elis participate in three rounds of golf in just two days. In previous competitions this season, the Elis have not played more than one round per day. Texas is currently ranked second in the nation, and the Longhorns will try to be the lone stars of the tournament as they look to win at home for the third consecutive year.
“I think it’s great,” head coach Lauren Harling said. “We prepared ourselves, everything we have done so far has led to this, we purposefully have done drills that force us to perform under pressure. Nothing changes. The message never changes. We are just sticking to our game plan and going out there and play golf.”
Harling’s lineup for this weekend is consistent with her comments as she will be sticking with the same five players who have started in all three previous tournaments this fall. The roster consists of senior captain Beryl Wang ’20, sophomores Ami Gianchandani ’22 and Coco Chai ’22, as well as first years Amy Zhang ’23 and Kaitlyn Lee ’23.
Thus far in the fall campaign, rookies like Zhang and Lee have made their impact felt immensely. Lee already notched a top-10 finish at Princeton, and Zhang co-led the field in par-five average, 4.56, in last week’s tournament at home.
“We are excited to see how we stack up against a strong field,” Wang said. “It feels good to be playing back at home, and I’m excited to take my teammates back to my home state.”
The young Bulldogs have reason to be optimistic. The Elis are coming off a record-breaking weekend at home, as the team had the lowest 18, 36 and 54 hole totals in school history, with scores of 282, 571 and 868, respectively.
Gianchandani was also busy breaking records last weekend at The Course at Yale. Besides securing her second win of the season, Gianchandani broke program records for lowest 18 and 54 hole totals with scores of 65 and 206, respectively.
The Betsy Rawls Invitational will be the Elis’ last tournament of the semester before the spring leg of their season. The Bulldogs will hope to enjoy the warm weather and a final chance to go toe-to-toe with some of the nation’s top programs. A strong showing will be something the squad can build on next semester.
“Since we are playing against some big golf schools, the competition is going to be hard but I think we have a really strong team so I’m excited to see us perform,” Lee said.
The Elis will participate in the Betsy Rawls Invitational Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 12 and 13.
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