April 25, 2009

Bulldogs in Second at Ivies, Eyeing Harvard

April 25, 2009

Round 2 Team Results
Round 2 Individual Results

NORTHFIELD, N.J. - The women's golf team once again left shots out on the course as the Bulldogs failed to catch Harvard on Saturday at the Ivy League Championships. Yale (609) came in just two shots back of Harvard (601), but will head into Sunday eight behind. It is still just a three-team race at the top, with Princeton (610) one shot behind Yale, and the next closest team 16 shots back of Princeton.

Moving day was anything but that at the Atlantic City Country Club, with the leaderboard remaining unchanged after 18 holes. But for a while it looked like the Bulldogs could be making a charge. After eight holes, the Bulldogs were a collective +1, with one player at even and one under-par. Harvard on the other hand was sitting at seven-over, giving the Bulldogs a four-shot lead. But a Harvard eagle on the par-five ninth and a relatively solid back nine, combined with a twelve-over back nine for Yale, swung the score back in Harvard's favor. In the end, the only leaderboard change was the distance between Harvard and the field.

"Harvard played well today," said sophomore Alyssa Roland. "I felt like I was playing better than the girl in my group, but I made a few mistakes. They have very good short games and had a nice round overall."

Roland and senior captain Natasha Spackey led the Bulldogs on Saturday, shooting rounds of 74 (+2). Roland and sophomore Cassie Boles are in a tie for seventh with Christine Cho of Harvard University. They are six shots back of the leader and last year's Ivy League Champion Susannah Aboff of Princeton. Harvard has all five of its players in the top-10 and two in the top-five.

Roland put together a solid round of two birdies and four bogeys, including a long birdie putt on the par-four 16th.

"It is always fun to sink a long birdie putt," said Roland. "Sinking one at the end of the back-nine adds a little excitement to it because you are in the home stretch."

Other than the birdie putt on 16, Roland put together a solid if uneventful round, which is far from a bad thing. Spackey, on the other hand, added a little excitement to hers. Spackey started off the round with birdies on the par-five first and par-four third. She gave one stroke back with a bogey on eight, but went into the turn at -1. Then the wheels began to fall off as Spackey went bogey, double-bogey, bogey on 11, 12 and 13, respectively. She would get two strokes back though with her best shot of the day on the par-four 14th. After hitting a perfect drive up the middle of the fairway, Spackey sunk an 85-yard wedge shot for eagle. She would go on to shoot one more bogey and finish the round with 74.

Boles turned a solid round marred only by a double-bogey on the par-five 10th. Otherwise it was three birdies and six bogeys for the sophomore from Lakeland, Fla.

Right behind Boles and Roland in a tie for 10th is sophomore Harriet Owers-Bradley. After a tough round of 78 (+6) on Friday, Owers-Bradley came back and fired a four-over 76. She had a relatively quiet round, shooting even on the front nine and a handful of bogeys on the back nine.

Junior Taylor Lee, who led the Bulldogs on Friday and was in a tie for third, had her round disqualified for failing to sign her scorecard. Lee struggled on Saturday and her round would not have counted towards the Bulldogs' team score.

"We all could have gone lower today," said Roland. "The conditions were easier and they shortened up one of the long par-fours. But we are only eight shots back and we are used to coming from behind. We just have to go out tomorrow and shoot the lights out."

The Bulldogs will again be paired with Harvard and Princeton and will tee-off at 9:10 Sunday morning.

Report filed by Charles Moore '10, Yale Sports Publicity