Oct. 11, 2008
DAYTONA, Fla. - Unofficially, Yale sits in fourth place at the Xavier LPGA Invitational. The first round was not completed due to darkness and there is one group of golfers that has to play the last two holes. Eastern Michigan is currently leading the tournament with a score of 299. They are trailed by Florida Atlantic (303) and Stetson (304). The Bulldogs are only six shots back with 36 holes left to play over the next two days.
"The 18-18-18 format is much better than playing 36 holes in one day," said senior captain Natasha Spackey. "You don't have to focus for 10 hours straight, and it is a lot less mentally challenging."
Spackey clearly took a liking to the format as she came out showing off her leadership abilities through action on Friday, shooting the team's lowest round of 74 (+2). Behind her was sophomore Alyssa Roland, with a round of 76 (+4), sophomore Cassie Boles, with a round of 77 (+5) and sophomore Harriet Owers-Bradley, with a round of 78 (+6).
Conditions were an issue for the Bulldogs in the first round. After a Florida rainout in yesterday's practice round, Yale went into today flying blind on half the course.
"We only got in 10holes of practice yesterday," said Roland. "We had never seen the first nine holes we played today. The wind also switched on us from our practice round, which made things tougher."
The rainout also caused wet conditions, muddy tee boxes and a change in the rules. Due to the storms players will now be allowed to mark, clean and replace their ball, which should come as a welcome addition to the muddy course.
Bad conditions and a new course were not the only two factors working against the Bulldogs on Friday. They also had to deal with a new type of grass for the greens.
"Bermuda grass is different then what we play on in Connecticut," said Roland. "You have to take into account which way the grain of the grass is growing. If you are putting against the grain you have to strike the ball a little harder, and vice versa. It just adds one more thing to think about"
And if all that did not trip up the Yale players, there was still the wildlife with which to contend.
"We had to play around alligators, pythons and spiders the size of your hand today," said freshman Callie Kemmer.
Without any significant changes from the group left to finish the Bulldogs will head into the second round tomorrow only six shots back. The unfinished group will tee-off at 8:30 a.m. followed by the second round at 11:50 a.m.
Report filed by Charles Moore '10, Yale Sports Publicity