Historic performance propels women’s golf to 1st at Vassar

Women’s golf destroyed the competition last weekend at the Vassar Invitational. In a field of 11 teams, the women carded a 317 on Day One and finished with a two-day total of 637 to come out in first. The women topped runner-up Middlebury by seven strokes, and Williams standout Georgiana Salant ’14 captured the individual title at the invitational with a tally of 150.

Day One of the invitational in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., started off well for the women, as they were playing under prime conditions. Salant opened strong, recording four birdies and an eagle in a round that saw her card a 71, good for one under par at the Duchess Golf and Country Club. Salant’s score on Day One ties the lowest score recorded in the history of the women’s program, and sliding in at one under par, Salant is the first woman at Williams to come in under par in a varsity event.

While Salant turned in a stellar round, her fellow Ephs backed her up with strong scores of their own. Emily Wickstrom ’14 and co-captain Becky Miller ’13 each carded an 81. Miller shot a remarkable 39 on the back nine to bolster the women’s effort. Shelby Shote ’15 turned in an 84, while Paige Whidbee ’15 also contributed with an 86. After Day One, the women had a tally of 317, placing them three strokes ahead of Middlebury and Amherst.

Heading into Day Two, the women faced harsher conditions, with high winds and difficult pin positions. Salant had to fight a little more in Day Two, ultimately notching a score of 79, giving her a 150 two-day total. Despite a higher score on Day Two, Salant hung on to the individual title by six strokes.

Miller again kept a strong pace behind team-leading Salant, carding an impressive 80 on the day. Whidbee shaved six strokes off her Day One mark to turn in an 80, while Shote shot an 81, knocking three strokes off her first day score. Despite a strong round on Day One, Wickstrom struggled on the second day, carding an 88, which was good enough to tie her for 18th individually.

“We were very pleased with the improvements both Shelby and Paige made on Day Two and the consistency that Becky displayed all weekend,” Head Coach Erika DeSanty said. “While each player did have to adapt to more difficult conditions on Day Two, their improvement was due in large part to each of them playing to their strengths.”

The Ephs needed strong scores from each golfer to win the invitational, as the Panthers boasted the second-place and third-place golfers on their team. The women ultimately came out on top with a 637, seven strokes under second-place Middlebury’s 644. Amherst fell off the pace on Day Two. After tying with Middlebury for second on Day One with a 320 team score, Amherst posted a 350 on the second day, dropping to fourth behind NYU.

“We will continue to use every day as an opportunity to prepare for NCAAs,” DeSanty said. “We will focus on improving on our weaknesses and building confidence in our individual games and in all we can accomplish as a team.”

The women will next hit the greens at Amherst in the Amherst Tournament on Saturday and Sunday. This is the women’s penultimate competition before NCAAs; they will host their only home tournament on April 27 to 28 before NCAAs on May 14 to 18.

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