The Yale women’s golf team finished 10th out of 15 competitive teams in Austin this weekend, as the host school Texas — ranked second in the nation — defended its home turf and won the Betsy Rawls Invitational for the third consecutive year.
On Sunday, Texas scored the lowest team round of 273 to move up two spots and outplay the second place Kent State by two strokes. The Bulldogs finished 50 strokes behind, and Yale’s best individual performer, Kaitlyn Lee ’23, tied for 26th — 18 strokes behind tournament winner Oklahoma State’s Isabella Fierro.
“We played against some big schools and finished in the middle of the pack,” Lee said. “It just goes to show that we are just as good as them. It was fun to watch these girls and learn from their games, but it was also fun competing against them.”
The roster this weekend included captain Beryl Wang ’20, Ami Gianchandani ’22, Coco Chai ’22, Amy Zhang ’23 and Lee. Gianchandani and Lee were the only Yale players to finish in the top 30 in a field of 78 participants.
The Betsy Rawls Invitational was the first tournament in which the Elis played more than one round of golf per day. Nevertheless, the Bulldogs held their ground and improved their score on their second round on Saturday from 301 to 299.
“Yesterday [Saturday] was our first 36-hole day of the semester and those days are 10 tough hours,” head coach Lauren Harling said. “A lot of our tournaments in the spring are a combination of 36 holes the first day and 18 the next … I think our girls are up to the challenge.”
Yale’s team wasn’t the only lineup that improved their scores on Saturday’s second round. Round averages dropped from 76 to 73 as weather conditions improved throughout the first day of the tournament. Cold weather and strong winds early on Saturday made play challenging for all individuals. As the day warmed up, the course got easier for players, and by Sunday, conditions were perfect with sunny skies and 75 degree weather.
Texas first-year Sophie Guo took advantage of this great weather on Sunday and tied the competitive course record with a final round 64. Guo was the Longhorns’ best golfer this weekend and finished in fourth place overall.
The tournament was the last competition of the semester for the Elis. The Bulldogs will continue practicing to prepare for the Ivy League Women’s Championship in April. This tournament amongst the Ancient Eight will ultimately decide which team will move on to regionals and have a shot at NCAA glory.
“We learned a lot this weekend and are excited to apply the information going forward in the spring,” Wang said. “It’s hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that I only have one season left as a Yale golfer. It’s so bittersweet, but I can’t wait for an amazing spring with this team.”
The Elis played a total of four tournaments in the fall leg of their season and will continue the second half come April.
Eugenio Garza Garcia | firstname.lastname@example.org