Women’s golf bests Div. III competition

Women’s golf opened its season on a positive note this weekend, placing sixth out of 20 teams at the Dartmouth Invitational. The Ephs trailed only Div. I competitors after a strong round on Sunday. Boston College, holding onto its early lead, rounded out the weekend in first place while host Dartmouth came in third. A final tally of 658 put the women atop Div. III competition for the weekend.

According to Head Coach Erika DeSanty, the course proved a challenge for the women but not one that they couldn’t overcome.

“Hanover Country Club is a course completely unlike our home course,” DeSanty said. “It is a challenging place to begin your career, but our first-years and our team handled it well.”

A 16-stroke improvement on Saturday’s score saw Williams finishing the day with a tally of 321 on Sunday. Becky Miller ’13 took first among the Ephs, finishing the day with a 78, a three-stroke improvement on her previous day’s performance. Miller’s showing on Day Two was enough to put her in the top 20 individual scorers for the weekend. Rookies Emily Wickstrom ’14, Alexandra Groetsema ’14 and Georgina Salant ’14 filled out the women’s scoring positions, tallying totals of 80, 80 and 83, respectively. The team’s strong performance on Sunday was good enough to push Williams from 10th to 6th overall, 10 strokes ahead of archrival Amherst.

DeSanty remarked on her players’ impressive showings and dedication to maintaining a high level of play this weekend. “I was most impressed by the discipline that each athlete showed this weekend,” she said. “Following our first round, which lasted nearly six hours, our team stayed after to work on its short game. They were determined to improve not only for themselves, but for our entire team.”

The women were already atop Div. III competition and in 10th place overall by the end of the day Saturday. Boston College led the pack with a total score of 306 on the day, but Williams wasn’t far behind, finishing the first round with a score of 337. Miller posted the women’s top score with an 81, while Salant finished her first day of collegiate play just behind her teammate with an 82. Miller and Salant’s performances earned both of them slots in the top 30 overall. Victoria Student ’13 and Groetsma rounded out the team’s scoring players on the day, both finishing the round at 87.

“This weekend was a completely positive start to our season,” DeSanty said. “Though our first day was a slow start, by Day Two any nervousness [the team] had was unnoticeable. [The women] played confidently and were supportive of one another.”

The Ephs are already looking forward to hosting the Williams Fall Classic early in October. The team isn’t losing sight of the tournaments between then and now, however. “As a team we are focusing on one tournament at a time,” DeSanty said. “We need to gain experience, and work to improve each day this fall.”

The women will compete next weekend, when they travel to Mount Holyoke for the Mount Holyoke Invitational on Saturday and Sunday.