Women’s golf clinches title in third straight win

Women’s golf continued an already outstanding season last weekend, capturing its third straight win at the Middlebury Invitational. The women finished the weekend with 651 strokes, edging Middlebury, which finished with a two-day team total of 663. Georgiana Salant ’14 captured the individual title on the weekend.

Despite soggy playing conditions and a difficult course, the Ephs took a commanding lead on Day One with a team total of 328. Middlebury, the host team, followed in second with a total of 338, while Amherst held on to third with a combined score of 343.

It was clear that course and weather conditions were taking a toll on the individual scores of the players. Although the course was a par 71, only three players were able to hit below 80. Salant led the field after Day One after shooting a 78 to narrowly beat out Middlebury’s Keely Levins and Mount Holyoke’s Madi Mendiola, who both put up scores of 79.

Shelby Shote ’15 finished with a Day One score of 80, placing fourth. Co-captain Victoria Student ’13 was close by with an 84, good enough for ninth, while Paige Whidbee ’15 finished in 10th with an 86. Co-captain Becky Miller ’13 also posted a solid performance, shooting an 89 to tie for 15th and round out the Ephs’ team score.

Day Two was a much tighter race in terms of team totals, but Williams still maintained its lead, posting a 323 to round out the team’s two-day total at 651. This was low enough to beat out second-place Middlebury (663), third-place finisher Vassar (693) and fourth-place contender Amherst (694) for the No. 1 spot.

Once again, tough course conditions defined the competition, with only four players managing to score in the 70s on Day Two. With her solid 75-stroke result, Salant claimed the top individual spot again on Sunday and subsequently, the tournament individual title, bringing her career individual wins up to four. Mendiola narrowly missed out on the top spot, coming in second after finishing two strokes behind Salant on the weekend.

The rest of the Ephs also performed very well on Day Two despite tough course conditions. Shote rounded out her weekend with an 81 to finish in fourth overall. Miller improved her Day One score by six strokes to finish with an 83, while Whidbee was close on her heels with a score of 84. Student finished Day Two with a score of 85.

“It was a big win for us to beat Middlebury at their home course and in the tough weather conditions,” Miller said of the team’s victory. “It was also the first time we improved on our Day One score this year, which is one of our team goals and was an important mental hurdle for us to jump over. Then Georgi [Salant] winning indivdually was a great added bonus.”

“This tournament really highlighted how strong of a team we are and we are thrilled to bring home this win,” Salant said. “I am so proud of how everyone persevered despite the challenging course and tough conditions.”

The Ephs look to continue their perfect season this weekend at their home invitational, the Williams Fall Classic. Play will begin at the Taconic Golf Course at 1 p.m. on Saturday.

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