March 10, 2009
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Against some strong competition, the Bulldogs finished fifth at the JMU Eagle Landing Invitational. The Bulldogs closed with a strong round of 303 (+15), putting their three-round total at 908 (+44). No. 49 Chattanooga won the tournament with a score of 866 (+2), after a tournament-leading third round of 283 (-5). The Mocs were a full 13 strokes ahead of No. 52 East Carolina, who finished with a tournament total of 879 (+15). Their second round of 287 was the second-best of the tournament. Rounding out the top three was No. 79 South Florida at 889 (+25). Although Yale was unable to close the gap with any of the top-four teams, they played well enough to hold off the group of ten teams behind them.
"If you look at the four teams ahead of us, they were all 10-20 strokes in front," said senior captain Natasha Spackey. "There was then a group of ten teams that were all clumped into a pack and we were at the top of that pack. We were very pleased to end up in that position, against such tough competition. It was a good feeling to be in the top-five against these teams."
Junior Taylor Lee once again led the way for the Bulldogs in the third round. Lee shot the Bulldogs only par-round on Monday and closed with a 74 (+2) on Tuesday. She finished the tournament in a tie for tenth-place with a tournament total of 222 (+6). Lee was joined in the top-20 by sophomore Cassie Boles, who finished in a tie for 15th-place. Boles shot three steady rounds of 76 (+4), 75 (+3) and 75 (+3) for a tournament total of 226 (+10). Spackey had a strong, consistent tournament, with her score counting towards the team total in each round. She finished in a tie for 31st-place with a tournament score of 229 (+13). Her three rounds were 76 (+4), 76 (+4) and 77 (+5). Sophomores Harriet Owers-Bradley and Alyssa Roland might as well have been twins this week. Owers-Bradley and Roland shot the same score each round to finish in a tie for 40th. Their tournament score was 231 (+15), and they shot rounds of 78 (+6), 76 (+4) and 77 (+5).
"We did not have any rounds over 78," said Spackey. "That was big for us, and it was great to see that kind of consistency this early. To see low rounds like that after not having played on a golf course in three months was great. It was nice to come out of the gates firing."
The Bulldogs individuals fired back on Tuesday with some of their best rounds. Freshman Callie Kemmer led the way for Yale, finishing in a tie for 64th. She finished the tournament with a score of 242 (+26), after shooting a round of 80 (+8) on Tuesday. Two strokes behind Kemmer was senior Erica Im, who finished in a tie for 68th. Her round of 76 (+4) on Tuesday was far and away her best, after shooting two rounds of 84 (+12) in her first two rounds. She finished with a total of 244 (+28). Freshman Lily Boettcher was just two shots behind Im in 71st place. She also shot her best round of the tournament on Tuesday, with a score of 77 (+5). Her three-round total was 246 (+30).
"This was a good tournament for us to open with," said Spackey. "It was a pretty straightforward, open course. It was a very forgiving atmosphere. That having been said, we definitely think we could have shot better. We gave away some shots, but that just shows us that we still have things to work on."
The Bulldogs will spend a few more days training in Florida before heading to South Carolina, where they will prepare for the Shamrock Invitational. That tournament will take place from Mar. 21-22.
Report filed by Charles Moore '10, Yale Sports Publicity