The reigning Ivy League Champion Yale women's golf team will host the Yale Women's Intercollegiate Sept. 17-18 at the Course at Yale as the kickoff to its 2011 fall season. The Bulldogs took home the title at their tournament last season -- and at three others last fall -- and will look to achieve similar success in four fall dates this season.
Brought in to fill the void is the highly-decorated class of 2015, Shreya Ghei, Marika Liu and Caroline Rouse. Ghei was the All-India Ladies Amateur Champion in 2010, and represented her country at the Asian Games. Liu qualified for the 2011 Women's Amateur, and earned nine AJGA Top-five finishes. Rouse was the 2010 St. Louis Post-Dispatch Golfer of the Year and the 2011 Missouri Women's Golf Association Junior Champion, following up her 2010 Missouri Class I State Championship.
That trio joins a highly talented group of returners, led by captain Lily Boettcher, who appeared in five tournaments in 2010-11 on her way to earning NGCA Scholar All-American honors. Classmate Callie Kemmer, who did not play last spring, will also be returning for 2011-12. Kemmer was a first-team All-Ivy honoree in her sophomore season, finishing fourth overall at the Ivy League Championships (78, 75, 75).
Joy Kim and Alex Lipa will also be major contributors for Coach Rompothong. Kim appeared in all five spring tournaments for the Bulldogs during their championship run, including a legendary hole-in-one at the C&F Bank Invitational in Williamsburg, Va. Lipa appeared in seven tournaments last year, and has a collegiate individual title under her belt at the 2009 Towson Invitational, her first collegiate tournament.
This year's sophomores, however, may be the most exciting of any class across the conference. Seo Hee Moon and Sun Gyoung Park were simply brilliant in their debut campaign. Moon was the unanimous Ivy League Rookie and Player of the Year and took home the individual title in six of the Bulldogs' 10 tournaments in 2010-11. She finished in the top three in all but one of those tournaments, and tied for 20th as Yale's top finisher at the NCAA East Regional. Park also impressed, particularly when it counted most, finishing 12th overall at the Ivy League Championships and posting the Bulldogs' second-best finish (49th) at the regional. Her powerful play helped her tie for fourth in a tough field at the Hoya Invitational, and she appeared in all of Yale's spring contests.
"Sun and Seo Hee demonstrated their ability to break out with rounds of par and better last year, and they'll be important again this fall," Boettcher said. "As freshmen they turned in some of the team's best individual performances -- and good luck keeping up with Sun if you're the competition, because she will outdrive you by literally a hundred yards."
Sun and Moon hope to help Yale outshine its competition yet again in 2011-12, but with such a talent-laden lineup, for Rompothong, the toughest part of the Bulldogs' title defense may be choosing which five players will compete on a given day. But that depth should help Yale as it faces down a challenging fall schedule.
"The team will see early Ivy League action at our home tournament and then at a visit to Harvard's Invitational in October, and big tournaments at Penn State and East Carolina will allow us to compete against larger fields with tough competition," Boettcher said. "We definitely have the ability to compete with the best of them…We have plenty of talent and only a few strokes separate one player from another. This is a very good situation to have. We're now excited to focus on the fall and see what will come of this year. "