Courtesy of Kevin Wu
It was a busy weekend for Yale’s varsity golf teams.
On Friday, the men’s squad traveled to Purchase, New York where they won the Ivy League Men’s Championship for the 21st time. Ben Carpenter ’25 won the Bulldogs’ third straight individual title, while men’s head coach Colin Sheehan ’97 earned his second consecutive Ivy Coach of the Year distinction.
“We all have been working hard on our games the past few weeks, and I couldn’t be more proud of our perseverance,” Carpenter said. “I am humbled to win the individual title, but I couldn’t have done it without the support of my teammates throughout the year. We are all excited for regionals in a couple weeks, especially since they are at Yale.”
The men’s team earned an early lead in the field by hitting 292 in the first round — 10 strokes ahead of its Ancient Eight rival Harvard. Over the course of the tournament, the team earned a score of 887, or 35 over par, which set them five ahead of second-place Columbia.
The best showing for the Blue and White came from Carpenter, who earned an overall score of 218, or five over par. By tying for sixth with a score of 222, Gabriel Ruiz ’24 and Blake Brantley ’25 earned Second-Team All-Ivy distinctions. Darren Lin ’22 tied for 14th with a score of 226, followed by team captain Teddy Zinsner ’22, who tied for 29th with a score of 239. Ruiz was also named an Academic All-Ivy.
“I’m obviously super excited about winning and pumped for the whole team because we worked really hard all year just for this one weekend,” Zinsner said. “I want to shout out our rookies, especially Ben, who all had great tournaments and really set the tone and carried us through to the win.”
Off the course, Sheehan earned his second consecutive Ivy League Coach of the Year award for leading the Bulldogs to their second title in three championships. In 2018, the Bulldogs won their last title and the penultimate league championship before COVID-19 disrupted Ivy League competition. Sheehan also coached the individual winners of the 2018 and 2019 Championships, Eoin Leonard ’19 and James Nicholas ’19.
By winning the Ivy League championship, Yale secured entry into the NCAA Regionals, which they will be hosting at the Yale Golf Course on Monday, May 15 through Wednesday, May 18. Zinsner described the opportunity to play at home as a “a great opportunity.”
“We are extremely excited about winning Ivies,” Ruiz wrote to the News. “We are looking forward to playing regionals here at Yale in a couple weeks. [It will] be a great experience!”
Further south in Ringoes, New Jersey, the women’s squad tied for fourth with two Bulldogs placing in the top-10, including Ivy Player of the Year and captain Ami Gianchandani ’23. The team tied with Dartmouth for fourth place during the Ivy League Women’s Championship with a score of 902, only 10 strokes behind the champions, Princeton. Gianchandani tied for third with a score of 222, or six over par, and was named to the All-Ivy First Team in addition to Ivy League Player of the Year. Rookie Ashley Au ’24 tied for eighth with a score of 224 and earned a spot on the All-Ivy second team. Kaitlyn Lee ’23 earned Academic All-Ivy honors and earned a score of 234.
“[Ivy League Player of the Year] is a big honor that I do not take lightly, especially [two] years after winning it for the first time,” Gianchandani said. “I am constantly pushed by my [teammates to become] a better golfer, student and leader, and I could not have achieved this without many people lending support.”
The Bulldogs began the tournament with a score of 307, 11 behind early leader Columbia. After a disqualification in the first round, the Blue and White earned the best round score throughout the tournament on Sunday by hitting 289.
The Bulldogs matched Princeton with the best par-three average across the tournament, with an average of 3.2 strokes. The Blue and White also boasted the second-best par-five average; the team collectively shot just below par at 4.97. Both Au and Coco Chai ’23 contributed to the par-three average statistic by measuring at 3.0 and 3.07, respectively.
Due to the pandemic, two-time team captain Gianchandani was the sole player in the Bulldogs’ lineup to have previously competed in an Ivy League Championship. In 2019, she was named both Rookie and Player of the Year and earlier this month, she became vice-chair of the NCAA Division I Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. Gianchandani noted that this year’s result will motivate the team next year.
“It felt surreal to be back at the same course I played [three] years ago with a new team, new coach but same tournament setup,” Gianchandani said. “It made me realize just how much has changed since the last time we were there and how different every single person there was after those years.”
The women’s team finished competition this weekend while the men’s team will continue to compete in the NCAA Regionals. The regular season of play for both teams will begin again in fall 2022.