Women’s golf takes 2nd at Amherst

Women’s golf got off to a good start this weekend at Amherst’s Jack Leaman Invitational, shooting a solid 316 on Saturday. The women were in good position for a come-from-behind victory, but ultimately fell two strokes short of Amherst, shooting a team score of 319 on Day Two.

The Ephs were led by the junior duo of Victoria Student ’13 and Becky Miller ’13, who shot twin 77s. Student played steady golf, shooting 38 on the first nine and 39 on the back nine with one birdie. Miller had a more turbulent 18, shooting 42-35 with an eagle and a birdie on the back. Head Coach Erika DeSanty was happy with the way her upperclassmen stepped up. “Becky and Victoria led the way for us today,” she said. “Both played [with] the same type of confidence and leadership they play with each day at practice.”  Close behind were Emily Wickstrom ’14 and rookie Shelby Shote ’15, who both carded 81s.Wickstrom played aggressively, and it paid off with three birdies and a fantastic one-over 37 on the front nine. Shote also had her fair share of birdies, including one on the second-to-last hole. Georgiana Salant ’14 rounded out the scores for the Ephs, carding an 85. Salant struggled on the front nine, but shot just three over on her last nine.

DeSanty was proud of the way her team performed during Saturday’s round. “The improvements Becky and Georgi had on the back nine, the consistency Victoria and Shelby displayed and the great start Emily had prove the depth of our talent,” she said.

The team put up a good fight on Day Two of the invitational, shooting a 319 to end just two strokes short of first-place Amherst. The second day’s play took place at Mount Holyoke’s home course, the Orchards Golf Club. The greens had been aerated recently, which made putting especially tough on the slow greens. However, players were fortunate that the rain held off until the last few holes of play.

Williams had to make up an eight shot deficit after Day One. The women did their best to make up the strokes on a difficult scoring day, shooting the best team score for the day by six over Amherst’s 325. Once again, the Ephs showed their depth, as all five players finished within five strokes of one another.

Student’s stellar play led the women on Day Two.  She followed up her Day One 77 with a solid 78 to tie for second individually with Amherst’s Liz Monty, just one stroke shy of first place. The Eph shot 41 on the front nine and came back with a 37 on the back, including three birdies on the final nine. Shote’s consistent scoring followed Student’s strong round; the rookie shot a 79 with two birdies. Salant and Miller shot twin 81s, and  Wickstrom rounded out the scores with an 83.

“I am pleased with our team’s performance this weekend,” DeSanty said. “Our average this weekend is where we are expected to be and where we need to be to compete at the national level … A steady improvement this week and into the weekend will have us peaking at exactly the right time.”

Salant was also proud of the women’s performance. “We were happy with our improvement from last week and know that we will keep the momentum going,” she said. “We haven’t even fully tapped into our potential and I’m excited to see what we can do in our upcoming home tournament.”

The women will play at Taconic Golf Club this Saturday and Sunday in the Williams Spring Invitational.