Women’s golf crushed the competition once again in a 40-stroke victory over Middlebury at the Fifth Annual Middlebury Women’s Invitational this weekend. The Ephs’ two-day total of 652 (324-328) at the Ralph Myhre Golf Course was a good follow-up to the team’s victory the week prior at the Mt. Holyoke Invitational. Williams outpaced second-place Middlebury by 40 strokes on the weekend as the Panthers tallied 692 over the two days of competition. Georgiana Salant ’14 also took first place individually, posting a 155 (75-80) and following in the footsteps of fellow rookie Emily Wickstrom ’14, who placed first overall at Mt. Holyoke.
Salant clinched the win after leading the tournament on Day One. Not far behind was the team’s third rookie, Alexandra Groetsema ’14, who took the individual runner-up title with a consistent total of 157 (78-79). Becky Miller ’13 also performed well, placing fourth overall individually. Although the team’s scores didn’t quite match the record-breaking rounds of last week, the players’ rounds were definitely suited to the course’s playing conditions.
Williams’ 328 total on Sunday consisted of a 79 from Groetsema, an 80 by Salant, an 84 by Miller and an 85 from Victoria Student ’13. Groetsema felt like she struggled but still managed to keep her head in the game. The Eph was the only player in the field to break 80 on Day Two. “My mentality was just to make solid contact with the ball and play better than [the previous] day,” she said.
The fairways were sopping wet, the greens spongy and the chilling winds relentless at Ralph Myhre this weekend. “The conditions were rough and made the course a lot longer,” Miller said. “It was our first pretty chilly tournament this season, but I thought the team responded well. We all knew that every team had to play in the same conditions.”
Despite the harsh environment the course provided, the team mentally pulled through to victory. “As a team we needed to focus on every shot, rather than the conditions,” Head Coach Erika DeSanty noted. “I tried to keep them focused on their games and making sure they knew how much I believe in each of them.”
On Day One, Salant, Groetsema, Miller and Wickstrom all contributed to the team’s total of 324 with scores of 75, 78, 81 and 90 respectively. These scores gave Williams an impressive 20-stroke lead over Middlebury, who tallied 344 on the day, going into the second day. After the conclusion of Saturday’s play, the Ephs were also in good position individually, with Salant in first, Groetsema in second and Miller in fourth. DeSanty knew going into the second day that “as a team we [couldn’t] think about the lead … We just wanted to improve on Sunday.”
DeSanty and the team are thrilled about winning two weeks in a row, but they are looking at the big picture and are not going to let up at all moving into the last weeks of the fall season. “Our focus is on getting better with each day, not just in scoring, but all that goes into building a cohesive team,” DeSanty said.
The team’s back-to-back wins puts the women in a great position going into the Williams Fall Classic this weekend. The tournament will be held at Taconic Golf Club on Saturday and Sunday. Williams will play its last tournament of the fall on Oct. 16 and 17 at the Wellesley Invitational.