Women’s golf claims 1st on home course

Women’s golf defended its home course at the Taconic Golf Club this weekend in the Williams Spring Invitational. The women brought in a two-day total of 631 strokes to top the field. Vassar came in a distant second with a tally of 656 while Middlebury’s 658 left the Panthers in third place overall. Amherst made a valiant effort on Sunday, carding a day two low of 314, but their two-day total of 659 left the Jeffs well back of the Ephs in fourth place.

The eight teams who played at Taconic Golf Club this weekend saw it in beautiful condition despite two temporary greens. Coming off the winter, the greens were mostly in good condition but were not rolling as quickly as usual and took far fewer prisoners than in the fall season. The opportunity to play on the second-ranked collegiate course in the nation in practice certainly proved an advantage for the Ephs in the invitational.

The individual medal in the invitational went to rookie Georgiana Salant ’14, whose 73-78 (151) gave her a three-shot lead over Alex Bello of Vassar. Salant is ranked third in the nation for Div. III golfers. Her inspired play has earned her three top-three finishes so far this spring. Teammate Emily Wickstrom ’14 followed her lead: The rookie shot a 75-80 (155) to place third in the invite. Fellow Eph Becky Miller ’13 came in sixth individually with a final tally of  75-85 (160). Victoria Student ’13 carded an 81-84 (165), and Aimee Weber ’11 scored a 90-92 (182) to round out the first team’s scoring.

Playing for the Ephs’ second team were Dale Markey ’11, who carded a 92-90 (182), Grace Gordon ’12 with a 94-94 (188), Izzy Lee ’12 coming in with a 101-93 (194) and Becca Sullivan ’11 finishing with a tally of 118-116 (234). “This weekend was incredibly important for our team,” Head Coach Erika DeSanty said. “It was a time to celebrate our seniors and build our confidence before the national tournament. We were successful with both.”

This weekend marked the last home tournament for three seniors: Sullivan, Markey and Weber, who will all graduate in June. Weber reflected on the significance of the weekend’s win, saying, “The fact that this was the last time I’d walk this course under these circumstances was hard to ignore. It was great to have two beautiful days and a rewarding win to remember my last tournament by.” The day was certainly bittersweet for the women, as Student neatly summarized:  “I think every one of us wanted to do our very best for the seniors at their last tournament. Their support has been essential to the development and success of our team, and I am thrilled that our scores reflected that this weekend.”

The Ephs will spend a week in practice to hone their swings and gear up for the Div. III National Championship. NCAAs will take place in Howie-in-the-Hills, Fla., on May 10-13. This will be the team’s sixth appearance at Div. III NCAAs, where the women hope to improve upon last year’s seventh-place finish and take home the national title.