Middlebury, VT–This was quite possibly the hardest two days of golf this program has seen in a while. Head coach Tomas Adalsteinsson said that the second day was by far his "hardest day of coaching." The Ephs were put to the test on the challenging Ralph Myhre Middlebury College course with its tough pin placements and speedy greens. But, on top of all of that, the winds gusts reached up to 35 miles per hour.
After a suspensul scoring period, the Williams team came out on top in the end. They pulled away from Amherst and extended their one stroke lead to a seven stroke victory with a team total of 323 today over Amherst's 329. Williams shot 643 as a team to take home the championship; Amherst was second with 650 and Middlebury came third with 663. This was the fourth year that there has been a NESCAC Championship for women's golf, but this was the first year seven schools had scoring teams. Wesleyan was the eighth team, but only played three individuals. Because the number of teams finally reached seven, this year's NESCAC Championship was the first conference championship that earned the champion a bid to the NCAA tournament in May of 2019.
"I'm extremely proud of the team this weekend, how they handled the tough conditions, and their attitude on and off the course," Adalsteinsson said.
Knowing that today would be a test of grit for the entire field, the Williams team strategized around the tougher holes. Number eleven in particular was a standout. The hole is a long and windy par 5 with a pitched, right to left green. The pin placement was the real kicker. Tucked on the left edge of the green, it was not uncommon for players to putt off the green. Adalsteinsson was quick to realize the number of strokes the one hole could rack up and made sure his players knew how to properly play the slope of the hole. The field played the hole +2.75 but the four scoring players for the Williams team walked away with bogey's, 1.75 shots clear of the field.
The team was led by sophomore Holly Davenport who was only one of two players who broke 80 today. Her 79 today moved her up 12 spots to place T10 overall.
"I'm really proud of myself and the team for what we accomplished this weekend. The course conditions were super tough and everyone fought hard to win. Now we need to focus on really fine-tuning our games and getting ready for the NCAA championship in the spring," Davenport said.
Next up was first year Joanna Kim. She was one back from Davenport and placed seventh individually, six places higher than yesterday. Senior Cordelia Chan and sophomore Mehr Sawant matched scores of 82 and placed second and 23rd respectively. Freshman Olivia White rounded off the scoring with an 85 today and a T20 finish.
"There has been a lot of competition on the team each week, and it can be stressful, but I give them so much credit for constantly pushing each other while also providing so much support. It's not easy to do, but they do it amazingly well," Adalsteinsson said. "We celebrate now, and then we start preparing for the NYU Invitational next weekend."
Next weekend's NYU invitational at Forest Hill Field Club in Bloomfield, New Jersey will be the final tournament of the fall season.