GOLF: Gianchandani, Lee reflect on U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship play
Ami Gianchandani ’23 and Kaitlyn Lee ’23 maintained their form this summer by playing USGA tournaments.
Over the summer break, two Bulldogs qualified for U.S. Golf Association national tournaments.
Ami Gianchandani ’23 and Kaitlyn Lee ’23 both participated in the U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship, where Gianchandani exited in the round of 64 after making the cut for championship weekend. At the same time, Lee exited in the second round with a score of nine over par. Earlier in the summer, Gianchandani played two rounds at the U.S. Women’s Open Championship.
“Going into the Amateur Championship this year, I had missed the cut two times that I had previously played it,” Gianchandani said. “But this time, I had a renewed sense of confidence and belonging in the field because of playing the U.S. Open. I knew I could be one of the better players there and that kind of propelled me to make the cut.”
In 2019, Gianchandani played the U.S. Women’s Amateur and exited after two rounds with a score of eight over par.
The Women’s Amateur Open is played in August, two months after the Women’s Open in June. Gianchandani was among nine players who played in both tournaments. At the U.S. Women’s Open, women’s golf head coach Lauren Harling visited and supported Gianchandani.
“I grew up thirty, forty minutes away from Southern Pines, where the U.S. Women’s Open was played, and I’ve played that golf course many times,” Harling told the News. “Seeing Ami out there doing her thing in a place I’m really familiar with was great.”
Harling, who grew up in North Carolina, had followed Gianchandani’s path to the tournament closely.
Gianchandani’s run at the U.S. Open finished with her hitting one over the par for the next round’s cut-off. During her time at the tournament, she played two rounds over two days.
“One of the greatest things as her coach was she was so in her element,” Harling said. “She was so comfortable in that environment. She wants to try to pursue professional golf after she finishes school. She’s done so many things while she’s been at Yale and during her gap year to prepare herself.”
During the Amateur Open, Gianchandani and Lee spent time together practicing and socializing, which Gianchandani described as “super fun.”
While Lee did not qualify for the U.S. Women’s Open, she shot three birdies during the first round and two more during the second round. Originally from Scarsdale, New York, Lee narrowly missed out on qualifying for the U.S. Women’s Open with Gianchandani and was listed as an alternate for her region.
“The U.S. [Women’s Amateur Championship] was the most competitive tournament I’ve played in,” Lee wrote to the News. “It felt great competing against the best players in the country and knowing that I’m good enough to play at that level.”
The Yale women’s golf team will begin their season at home in the Yale Invitational during the weekend of Sept. 10.