March 20, 2009
ROCK HILL, S.C. - The Yale women's golf team battled through mud and wind to finish in a tie for third after round one at the Winthrop Intercollegiate. On a day when the lowest score in the tournament was a 76 (+4), the Bulldogs struggled to stay atop the leaderboard. The tournament is led by No. 65 Oral Roberts with a score of 312 (+24). They are followed closely by the host school Winthrop at 316 (+28). The Bulldogs are in a tie for third, just ten shots back of Oral Roberts and six back of Winthrop. Their score of 322 (+34) puts them in a tie for third with No. 79 Minnesota.
"The conditions were terrible," said sophomore Alyssa Roland. "The course is in pretty bad condition with dead grass and mud around the greens. We were playing `lift, clean, and place', so we got to give ourselves good lies, but we were still chipping in mud which caused us to hit a lot of balls fat. There were also 25 mph winds which made the course play differently from our practice round."
The `lift, clean, and place' rule that Roland refers to allows players to pick up their ball and clean it off, even if they are not on the greens.
Roland led the Bulldogs with her first round score of 79 (+7). Her score was good enough to place her in a tie for eighth. Roland was followed by a trio of Bulldogs in a tie for thirteenth. Senior captain Natasha Spackey and sophomores Cassie Boles and Harriet Owers-Bradley all shot rounds of 81 (+9). Junior Taylor Lee rounded out Yale's team with a score of 84 (+12), placing her in a tie for 26th.
"The real problem for me, and for others, was the putting," said Roland. "If you were above the hole, it was pretty much a given that you were going to three-putt. There were also a lot of really small greens, which led to people chipping from just off the green in the mud. On top of that, the greens were also really quick. I saw Cassie stick the ball just past the hole and spin it back all the way off the green."
The Bulldogs also entered three individuals in the tournament. Senior Erica Im led the group of Yale individuals with a score of 83 (+11). She currently sits in a tie for 23rd. Following closely behind her were freshmen Callie Kemmer and Lily Boettcher. Kemmer sits in a tie for 33rd with a round of 85 (+13), while Boettcher is in a tie for 45th with her round of 88 (+16).
"It was just really rough out there," said Roland. "It was frustrating because I think a lot of us were hitting well, but did not end up scoring well because of putting and the conditions. We are only 10 shots back, though, which is nothing in college golf. We just need to shave off two or three shots a person, and we will be fine. We did some extra putting after the round today, and we are going to get to the course early to do some more drilling before our afternoon tee-time."
The Bulldogs got seeded ahead of Minnesota and therefore will be playing in the final group tomorrow with Oral Roberts and Winthrop, allowing Yale to monitor their progress closely. The first Yale group will tee-off at 2:15 p.m.
Report filed by Charles Moore '10, Yale Sports Publicity