The Bulldogs opened their season by placing ninth in Florida at the Columbia Classic with captain Ami Gianchandani ’23 leading the pack.

Hosted by Columbia, the two-day tournament began on Sunday, Feb. 13 at the Duran Golf Course in Brevard County, Florida. Over three rounds, the Blue and White finished with a cumulative score of 925, or 61 over par. While Virginia Tech finished first with a score of 880, or 16 over par, Yale’s ninth place finish out of 14 schools present was the best result out of the three other Ancient Eight schools in contention.

“It felt great to get back into competition this weekend,” Gianchandani said. “There were a lot of positives about all of our games and a lot of work to do before the next event. I think my ability to flight the ball and play in the wind helped me stay consistent despite some really tough conditions this past weekend.”

Yale began with a solid start during the first round as it placed sixth with a score of 298, or 10 over par. In the second round, the Bulldogs fell to tenth with a score of 311 before jumping up to ninth in the third round. Overall, the Elis led 10th place Princeton, 12th place Columbia and 13th place Dartmouth, who scored 927, 947 and 965, respectively.

Gianchandani’s score of 224 was the Bulldogs’ best finish, supported by her par-3 average of 2.92 that was tied for the second-best score across the tournament. With a score of eight over par, Gianchandani tied for 19th while teammate Coco Chai ’23 tied for 41st with a score of 232, or 16 over par. Teammates Lexi Kim ’25, Kaitlyn Lee ’23 and Sophie Simon ’25 earned scores of 234, 235 and 246 respectively.

“We’re very excited to get back to competition this spring and the Columbia Classic is going to be a great opportunity to compete against some of the best teams in the country,” head coach Lauren Harling said before the tournament. “Our goal is to create some good, steady momentum and build on that over the coming months.”

As of a Feb. 8 report, the Blue and White were ranked 75th in the NCAA’s Division I varsity women’s teams while winner Virginia Tech placed 26th. Yale is the highest-ranked Ancient Eight team, followed by 84th-place Princeton. Cornell and Brown do not field varsity women’s golf teams.

This tournament is the first of not only the Blue and White’s spring season, but also the beginning of a string of tournaments in the South. Next month, the Bulldogs will travel to South Carolina and Tennessee to compete in warmer weather. 

“I am excited about the upcoming season because I feel more adjusted than I did in the fall,” Simon  said. “One of my goals this spring is to stay more relaxed on the course because I play my best when I am not stressed or tense.”

The Bulldogs will travel to South Carolina for the Low Country Intercollegiate hosted at the Moss Creek Golf Course during the weekend of March 14.

Hamera Shabbir covers golf and fencing for the Sports desk and the School of the Environment for the Science and Technology desk. Originally from California's Central Valley, she is a sophomore in Branford College majoring in Environmental Studies.