Courtesy of Darren Carroll/USGA

This weekend, Yale women’s golfers Ami Gianchandani ’23 and Kaitlyn Lee ’24 participated in the first two rounds of the U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball at Maridoe Golf Club in Carrollton, Texas.

Sophie Simon ’25, who will join Yale’s team as a first year next fall, is also competing at the tournament.

The first two days of the tournament involved stroke play four-ball, where a pair of golfers play each hole individually and record their lowest score. Gianchandani and Lee are playing the full tournament as a duo, while Simon is teaming up with her friend Rebecca Skoler, who is a first-year golfer with the Virginia Cavaliers. Simon and her teammate finished even after two days, placing them in 18th at the end of Sunday evening, while Gianchandani and Lee finished the first two rounds six under par. The Bulldog duo sits tied for first place as of Sunday evening. Both pairings made the cut, allowing them to continue play on Monday.

“I’m thrilled that we have three women out there playing in one of golf’s biggest amateur tournaments in the U.S.,” Yale women’s golf head coach Lauren Harling said. “I know they are thoroughly enjoying the experience and having fun cheering one another on this weekend.”

Lee, left, and Gianchandani line their putt up on the 18th hole during the first round on Saturday. (Photo: Courtesy of Darren Carroll/USGA)

The tournament, which began on Saturday morning, is set to end with a championship round on Wednesday. After Sunday’s round, the field was cut to the best 32 duos who will face each other in five rounds of elimination until one team remains on Wednesday night. The round of 32 will take place on Monday, while the round of 16 and quarterfinals will occur on Tuesday. Wednesday will feature the semifinal and championship matches.

At the end of the first day of play, the pairing of Gianchandani and Lee were tied for first place with a score of three under. Simon and Skoler, meanwhile, were tied for 22nd place with a score of one over par. On Saturday, Gianchandani and Lee played excellent golf, only bogeying the third hole — the longest par-three on the course. But the Yale golfers were unfazed by the early bogey and finished the day with a total of four birdies. Gianchandani and Lee continued their strong play on Sunday, when they shot three under par to stay in first place.

“I still can’t believe it,” Lee said about their play this weekend. “I honestly had no expectations coming into this tournament. I just wanted to make it to match play. It was great having Ami out there with me, she’s been an amazing partner. We’re just gonna stick to the same game plan. That’s what we’ve been doing for the past two days, and it seems to be working. Our games are perfect for partner golf, so we’re just gonna keep the momentum going.”

Simon and Virginia’s Skoler had a calm front nine in their first round, finishing one over par. But in the back nine, Simon and Skoler started with two birdies and followed that with two bogeys. The duo made three pars, three birdies and three bogeys in the back nine for a volatile finish to the day. On Sunday, Simon and her teammate finished one under, bringing them even for the weekend. 

Volunteer Charlie Couture puts Gianchandani’s name into the placard on the driving range during the second round of stroke play at Maridoe Golf Club on Sunday. (Photo: Courtesy of Darren Carroll/USGA)

Gianchandani and Lee qualified for this tournament last October after placing second in the New Jersey qualifier event played in Fiddler’s Elbow Country Club in Bedminster, NJ.

“[The] main thing [we did] to avoid bogeys was playing smart golf,” Gianchandani said about the team’s play this weekend. “A lot of the holes out here are risk reward, and knowing when to play it safe was the biggest thing. When we waiver or have a bad hole, we talk each other up and get each other’s confidence back to where it belongs, up high.”

The Yale duo played a round of golf with Tiger Woods’ son Charlie Woods earlier this year.

Eugenio Garza García covers baseball, golf and athletic phasing. Originally from Monterrey, Mexico, he is a sophomore in Branford College majoring in Economics and English.