Women’s golf powers way to first tournament title in 12 Years
Women’s Golf Powers Way to First Tournament Title in 12 Years
It is always exhilarating to win a title, especially after a long drought. But to win a title in as dominating a fashion as the Tigers this past weekend is a feeling all its own.
This past weekend, the Tigers wrapped up an Ivy league title — their first since 2005 — in Orlando, Fla. at the Orange Tree Golf Club. This year was the 15th time the Ivy League Tournament needed to be decided in a third round. However, by the end of the tournament there was no question as to which team was the winner. The Tigers posted the second lowest score ever in a three-round tournament, finishing with 891. This score trails only that of Harvard — which shot an 890 in 2008 — as the lowest score in three-round tournament history. In fact, no other team has posted lower than 900. The Tigers also set a school record for the lowest three-round tournament score in school history, surpassing the previous mark of 894, which was made twice. The margin of victory was the third largest in tournament history: only Yale (won by 38) and the 2005 Princeton team (won by 35) have larger margins of victory.
“It was the perfect mix of people,” head coach Erika DeSanty said of the success the team has had this season. “It’s incredibly satisfying … this has almost everything to do with the team we have.”
The title is largely due to the impressive individual performances in the tournament. While there are times where a tournament is won by the performance of one player, this was not the case here. Each player contributed with a great individual performance to the success of the team. Sophomore Amber Wang led the way for the Tigers, finishing first overall in the tournament after shooting a one under 71 in the final round and finishing +2 overall for the tournament. For her performance at the Orange Tree, she was awarded the Suburban Transit Athlete of the Week, awarded by the Go Princeton Tigers athletic website. However for Amber, it has always been about the team first.
“When I’m out on the course I focus more on my team” noted Amber. “We have our team goals and so I’m focusing on meeting those and not really where I am in the field right now. It’s great that we won both the team championship and the individual championship.”
“If you watch her play, she plays with grit. She has this sense of drive, and she’s never going to let herself fail,” DeSanty said when praising Wang. “She didn’t go out there to win the individual title she went out there to win it for the team and claiming the individual championship was just a product of that”.
She placed first ahead of freshman Alison Chang who finished with a score of +5 for the tournament. The other two scorers for the Tigers - senior Hana Ku and freshman Maya Walton - also placed in the top 10. Ku finished tied for third with a score of +7, and Walton concluded her first Ivy League tournament tied for seventh with a score of +13.
The Tigers started the weekend hot and never let go of their lead. Princeton shot a 296 in the opening round of the tournament which was good enough to give them a 6 stroke lead over Harvard. Wang set the tone for the weekend, shooting a 2-under 70 for the day and earning the top spot. Chang and Walton were tied for 5th at 3-over, and Ku was right behind them tied for 9th with a 4 over 76. Senior Jordan Lippetz — four-year veteran of the Ivy League Tournament — returned to her home state, where she finished 31st in her final Ivy League Championship appearance.
Up next for Princeton is a trip to regionals where they will take on some of the best teams in the nation. That is next week May 8 - May 10 and takes place across four different golf courses in New Mexico, Ohio, Georgia and Texas. Princeton will be playing in Georgia taking on other teams from their region. Said Coach DeSanty, “We’re excited for regionals. I think that’s going to be a different challenge for us but I think mentally, emotionally … I think that will carry over into regionals.”