June 22, 2013

Bulldogs Welcome Four New Golfers

Incoming Golfers Hail From Around Globe

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — The Yale women's golf team will bolster its roster when it adds four freshmen from the class of 2017 next season. The four golfers—Elisabeth Bernabe, Sara Garmezy, Phimnipha Wongwaiwate and Julia Yao—hail from around the world and bring with them a deep pool of talent and experience. 

The four freshmen will look to energize further an already-powerful squad, which will be led by rising senior captain Sun Gyoung Park. At the same time, they have large shoes to fill: the Bulldogs said goodbye to seniors Joy Kim and Alexandra Lipa, who captained the team in the 2012-13 season.

Yet if their past golfing results are any indication, the freshmen have great potential to positively impact the team's performance. In 2012-13, the Bulldogs claimed victory at the Dartmouth Invitational and Brown Invitational and finished third at the Ivy League Championship. With the new recruits next season, Yale will be on the hunt for the Ivy League title.

A native of Anaheim Hills, Calif., Bernabe comes to Yale from Canyon High School and plans to major in economics and mathematics. With an impressive lowest score of 62, shot at the El Prado Golf Club in Chino, Calif., she hopes to become a professional golfer on the LPGA or enter the world of finance. Bernabe was one of just 12 golfers around the country named a 2012 AJGA Academic All American.

Her future teammate, Garmezy, was also named a 2012 AJGA Academic All American. Garmezy hails from the University School of Nashville in Nashville, Tenn., and plans to major in psychology. Already, she has notched up two top-five AJGA finishes, two AAJGT wins and qualified for the 2012 Match Play round of the Women's Western Golf Championship. She was also the 2011 Tennessee State High School Champion for Division II-A and an All Mid-State Tennessee High School Selection from 2010 to 2013.

Yao, meanwhile, comes from Shanghai but attended The Lawrenceville School in Lawrenceville, N.J. There, she co-captained the varsity golf team and led it to several tournament victories.

The new recruit furthest from home, Wongwaiwate, is a native of Chiang Mai, Thailand, and attended Hank Haney IJGA. She goes by the name Sandy and hopes to play professionally or attend graduate school. Her golfing results reflect that ambition: she played on the Thailand Ladies National Team in 2010-11 and 2011-12 and clinched the 2011 SLGA Ladies Amateur Open in Premier Division I. In addition, she was the fourth runner up at the 2011 Malaysia Ladies Amateur and the first runner up at the 2011 Annika Invitational in China, results which helped contribute to several accolades: she was named IJGT Player of the Year in 2012-13 and has twice held the TGA Northern Thailand number one ranking.

The four new golfers will be ably supported by a strong junior and senior cohort that boasts a depth of experience unrivalled in the Ancient Eight. Along with Park, rising senior Seo Hee Moon and rising juniors Shreya Ghei, Marika Liu and Caroline Rouse have all set an outstanding example for the incoming freshmen to follow both on and off the course.

Report filed by James Lu '14, Yale Sports Publicity.