The past two weekends were successful and rewarding for women’s golf: The women claimed both the team and individual wins at the Wellesley College Invitational this weekend after coming off a win at their home tournament, the Williams Fall Invitational, over the weekend of Oct. 9.
Williams continued its recent tradition of a large margin of victory last weekend, amassing a team score of 626 (315-311) and besting second-place Amherst’s 670 by 44 shots. Wellesley came in third with a 678. Alexandra Groetsema ’14 posted excellent back-to-back rounds of 72 and 73 to earn the medalist award. Her 155 is now the school record for the women’s lowest 36-hole total. Groetsema was backed by teammates Georgiana Salant ’14 and Becky Miller ’13, who each posted 158s in 82-76 and 77-81 respectively, to tie for fourth place overall. Emily Wickstrom ’14 followed with a 165 (84-81) for seventh, while Victoria Student ’13 tied for 13th with a 173 (90-83).
The women played the nine-hole Wellesley course, Nehoiden Golf Club, twice each day. “I think it was a huge advantage for every player to see the layout of the course and the pin positions multiple times,” Student said of the weekend’s setup. The team utilized this format and tried to perform better each time around. Winds gusting up to 30 mph made the first day tough, but the wind settled down on Sunday, providing for beautiful conditions. The tournament marked the end of the women’s fall season.
“Following our home tournament we had much to prove as we failed to play the second half with the same sense of urgency with which we had played all season [at the Williams Invitational],” Head Coach Erika DeSanty said. “This weekend we had a great first day and an even better second day – everyone contributed to our success.”
The Williams Fall Invitational, held Oct. 8 and 9 at Taconic Golf Club, was both exciting and disappointing for the team. Williams won the tournament with a two-day total of 662 but lost the second round of play, which doubled as the NESCAC Championship. Amherst’s second day score of 320 was just enough to earn them the championship over Middlebury’s 326 and Williams’ 331. Scoring for the Ephs’ first team were Groetsema with a 149 (71-78), Salant with a 166 (84-82), Miller with a 167 (86-81) and Aimee Weber ’11 with 182 (92-90). Groetsema’s first round made it easy for her to claim the ndividual title by eight shots.
The Ephs entered two teams last weekend because it was their home tournament. The second team consisted of Wickstrom, who posted a 171 (82-89), Grace Gordon ’12 with a 185 (97-88), Dale Markey ’11 with a 188 (94-94) and Mary Beth Daub ’11 with a 210 (100-110). Gordon and Daub both posted their all-time personal best scores, tallying an 88 and a 100, respectively. The second team placed seventh out of 11 NESCAC teams.
“The best thing about this weekend was having the whole team out on the course,” Miller said. “Everywhere you looked you saw purple and gold.” The camaraderie of the team and support from on-looking family and friends motivated the Ephs to play their best.
Taconic presented the women with difficult conditions on Saturday. The overnight winds dried the greens, making them as slick as glass. Players had a hard time putting, which gave the Ephs an advantage on their home course. “The conditions on Saturday were unprecedented,” Markey said. “Taconic is a tough course to begin with, but the game becomes all the more difficult when fast greens play even faster. It was like putting on ice. It would suffice to say that our mental toughness secured us the lead going into Sunday.”
The women have established themselves as the team to beat in Div. III golf. Out of their five fall season tournaments, they’ve taken the team and individual titles in four. Their hard work and talent have set them apart from the rest of their competition, and they will take this confidence into the spring season. “We seem to be moving in the right direction individually and as a team,” DeSanty remarked. “I hope everyone will walk away this fall looking forward to beginning again in the spring.”