Women’s golf cruises to home invite victory

On Sunday, women’s golf extended its lead to claim a victory in the Williams Spring Invitational, played at the Ephs’ home Taconic Golf Course. After Day One, the women held a tenuous six-stroke lead over second-place Middlebury, but on Day Two the women surged ahead, outscoring Middlebury by 26 strokes en route to a total score of 317.

After some dry weather, the Taconic featured some fast greens and tight pin locations, adding to the difficulty of the notoriously long course. But on Day One, the women capitalized on their home field advantage from the start, as Georgiana Salant ’14 posted an impressive 77 in her first round, tied for the individual lead with Keely Levins of Middlebury. Salant displayed her trademark consistency, as she shot four over par on the front nine and two over on the back. She was also one of only three golfers to score under 80 on the day.

Another notable performance came from co-captain Becky Miller ’13, who carded a solid 80, which put her in a tie for fourth individually. Emily Wickstrom ’14, Shelby Shote ’15 and Paige Whidbee ’15, who all shot 85, rounded out the Ephs’ top five.

Outside of the team scoring tournament, the Ephs also had several players compete as individuals. Maggie Mitts ’15 turned in a strong round, including a birdie on a challenging 13th hole. Overall, she shot an 84. Kelly Kung ’16 shot an 85 and nearly made an eagle on 18. Caroline Sawin ’15 struggled on the tough course, ultimately carding a 91 on the day.

On Day Two, Salant again charged from the start, matching her mark of 77 from Day One to win the individual tournament. The best round of the day did not come from Salant, however, but from Wickstrom, who posted a tournament-low round of 76. She improved her Day One score by nine strokes and tied her season-best round. Miller had another solid day, carding an 81, for a cumulative score of 161. Wickstrom and Miller tied with SUNY Cortland’s Kalin Merkley for fourth place individually. Adding in finishing performances from Shote and Whidbee, who shot 83 and 86, respectively, the Ephs outpaced Middlebury and Amherst, scoring an impressive 317 on the weekend.

Outside of the team tournament, Kung shot an 87 on the day, including a birdie on the ninth hole. Sawin followed up her 91 with a 92 on Day Two, while Mitts struggled in the second round, posting a 96.

“I was really pleased with Becky [Miller] and Georgie [Salant’s] performance and their consistency throughout the weekend,” Head Coach Erika DeSanty said. “I was especially impressed with Emily Wickstrom’s performance on Sunday. The leadership and competitiveness of our upperclassmen will be big for us as we look to get an at-large bid to the NCAA Championship.”

The Williams Invite is the last event of the women’s regular season. The Ephs now wait to see if they will receive an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament, which will be played from May 14 to 18 at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort in Destin, Fla. The women were currently ranked seventh in Div. III as of the April 18 poll.

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