Women’s golf tops field at Mt. Holyoke

Women’s golf shattered records this weekend at the 34th annual Mt. Holyoke Invitational at the Orchards. The team finished in first place over NYU and Amherst by 26 shots with a two-day total of 615.

Emily Wickstrom ’14 took the individual title with an impressive and consistent score of 149 (75-74). Becky Miller ’13 followed close behind, posting a 154 (76-78) while rookies Alex Groetsema ’14 and Georgiana Salant ’14 both shot a 158 total, with tallies of 75-83 and 78-80, respectively. Victoria Student ’13 rounded out the team’s solid scores with a 162 (83-79). The weekend will go down in history as the best two-day team score ever recorded for the women’s golf team; Wickstrom’s 149 total is the best individual score recorded in the College books.

Although they led the scoreboard going into the second round on Sunday, the women knew they had to stay mentally alert in order to take the title. When asked how she stayed calm knowing the team had a lead to defend, Miller cited a step-by-step strategy. “I broke up the round into a series of three holes to help me focus on the task at hand and stay in the moment,” Miller said.

Head Coach Erika DeSanty knew that the team needed only to play within itself to get the job done and clinch the win on Sunday: “After our exciting first round, I was confident going into Day Two. Still, our focus was on finishing strong. As we say, it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.”

Williams’ first round at the Orchards proved to be a fantastic day for the team. The Ephs’ total of 304 is the lowest single day team total in College history and put the women right at the top of the scoreboard from the get-go.

The weather conditions on the first day were favorable, with clear skies and little wind. Solid playing by the team the first day built up confidence in the players to go out and continue their great performances for the second day, especially for the rookies. “Having my first tournament out of the way made me a lot more confident and comfortable going into the round [on Sunday],” Groetsema said.

The Orchards is ranked as the seventh best collegiate golf course in the nation, and the pristine conditions only worked in the team’s favor. The tournament conditions proved ideal for golf, with sunny skies and green fairways. Soft greens allowed players to pin-seek, leaving them with many birdie opportunities. After the first day, the team had a total of 11 birdies between all five players. The women added nine more to that tally on Day Two.

DeSanty is already excited and ready to compete in another tournament. “I watch the team and the individuals on our team play so well every day, so I expect great shots and moments every time we’re on the course,” she said.

The team will next compete when it travels to Vermont for the Middlebury Invitational on Saturday and Sunday.