Firm and fast greens made for a difficult test for women’s golf at the Vassar Invitational. The team turned in a score of 351 on Saturday and improved to a 331 on Day Two to post a 682 total for the weekend. The result placed the women in third behind Middlebury and rival Amherst; Amherst won the tournament with a score of 661.
While the playing conditions were perfect on Saturday, the team struggled due to the course’s exceptional condition. The greens were surprisingly quick, holding few shots, which meant that many players left themselves in bad positions above the hole and posted large numbers on a couple of holes. Even with the high scores, the team was remarkably consistent. Becky Miller ’13 took seven strokes off her front nine score to turn in a score of 87 on Day One. Emily Wickstrom ’14 had a similar improvement on the back nine, tallying a final count of 88. Both Wickstrom and rookie Paige Whidbee ’15 chipped in for birdies on holes 12 and 16, respectively. Victoria Student ’13 and Georgiana Salant ’14 also carded 88s.
While the women began to mount a comeback after a disappointing Day One on the last nine holes of Sunday’s play, their efforts were insufficient. The team improved by 20 strokes in the second round to post a 331, but it was not enough to overcome the hole the Ephs had dug themselves on Day One. Conditions were once again gorgeous at the Dutchess Golf and Country Club and the greens continued to play quickly, but the women had mastered the course: Many improved their scores after familiarizing themselves with the greens on Day One. Wickstrom and Salant led the Ephs on Day Two, carding an 80 and an 81, respectively. Both sophomores played stellar back nines to initiate the late charge, shooting two over-38s. Their eight- and seven-stroke improvements over Day One accounted for 15 of the 20 shots made up on Day Two. Student also shot a solid round: She improved on Saturday’s result by five strokes to turn in a score of 83. Miller and Whidbee continued to struggle, shooting scores of 87 and 89 on the day, respectively.
Salant looked positively on the weekend. “The only place for the team to go is up,” she said. “I am already excited to see our improvement over the week and next weekend at Amherst.” Wickstrom also saw promise in the difficult weekend. “While we certainly have a lot of issues to iron out this week, we will continue to play with fire in our eyes,” she said. “Amherst winning this weekend will only make our defeat of them next weekend more enjoyable.”
“This weekend reminded us of the importance of winning every day, and while our performance was far from our best, we learned much from the experience,” Head Coach Erika DeSanty said.
The team looks forward to getting off to a quicker start at rival Amherst’s home tournament, the Jack Leaman Championship, which will take place on Saturday and Sunday.