Record Day One at Holyoke secures win for women’s golf

Women’s golf continued its outstanding season last weekend at the Mt. Holyoke Invitational by again taking the top spot and remaining undefeated. Williams got off to an unbelievable start at the Orchards Golf Club, posting a record-tying score of 304 on Day One, which placed the women 11 shots ahead of second-place Middlebury. Day Two proved to be more difficult for the Ephs, with the women combining for a second-day total of 315, one behind Ithaca, who took the top spot on Sunday. However, the momentum achieved on Day One and the consistent play on Day Two allowed the women to hold their top spot and finish with a total score of 619 for the weekend.

This score placed them 12 shots ahead of Ithaca (631), who took the No. 2 spot, and 18 ahead of Middlebury (637), who came in third. Other NESCAC members did not perform quite as well. Amherst came in eighth, with a two-day total of 677, Bowdoin took 11th (766), Hamilton took the 12th spot (778), while Bates took 14th with a total of 841.

Day One saw a record-tying performance by the Ephs. The women’s team total of 304 tied the single-day record low at the Mt. Holyoke Invitational, which had been set in 2010.

Co-captain Georgiana Salant ’14 led the Ephs with an impressive score of 75, which tied her for the first-place spot of the day. Only Middlebury’s Michelle Peng and SUNY Cortland’s Rebecca Studin, who won the top spot at last weekend’s NYU Invitational, tied her brilliant performance.

Shelby Shote ’15 and Kelly Kung ’16 tied with totals of 76, which put them both at fourth place overall. Sarah Hasselman ’17 tied for sixth place with a total of 77, while Tracy Kim ’17 rounded out the Ephs’ total with 81, which tied her for the 13th-place spot.

Both Hasselman and Kung recovered from poor first nine performances. After shooting a 40 on the first nine, Kung came on strong on the back nine with a 36 to finish the day. Hasselman posted a 35 on the last nine holes after shooting a 42 on the first nine.

With four players shooting under 80, the Ephs were a force that could not be contended with. The women’s collective outstanding performances gave them a comfortable 11-point lead heading into Day Two.

On the second day of competition, the Ephs could not repeat their record-tying performance of Day One. However, the women still posted a respectable team total of 315, just one point behind Ithaca, who took the top spot of the day with 314.

Shote  led the Ephs on Day Two, posting a second-day score of 77 to bring her overall total to 153, which tied her for third place overall. Hasselman shot a 78 on Day Two, bringing her total to 155 and earning her a sixth-place individual finish.

Salant carded a 79, bringing her into fifth place with a two-day total of 154. She hit many greens, but her putting was not up to scuff, causing her to lose her first-place spot. Kung posted an 81, finishing with a two-day total of 157, which was enough to place her seventh. Kim tied for 15th with a two-day total of 163 and a Sunday performance of 82.

Despite the higher scores on Day Two, the Ephs still posted three second-day scores below 80, with the other two just slightly over. The women placed four individuals – Shote, Hasselman, Salant and Kung – in the top 10 overall.

This consistency and a stellar first day allowed the women to hold on to their top spot, 12 strokes ahead of Ithaca.

“We’re very proud of the way our season has started,” Head Coach Erika DeSanty said. “Most impressively, all of our student-athletes have earned an opportunity to compete and have posted at least one round in the 70s. Our depth and consistency is greater than it has ever been, and we hope this will continue to be one of our strengths throughout the season. While we will work to win every competitive day, our success is measured by meeting our goals, rather than winning. So moving forward, we will focus on and strive to meet our team goals.”

The women now look to the Middlebury Invitational next weekend, where they hope to continue their winning season. Tee times begin at 11 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.