HADLEY, Mass. – The NESCAC Women’s Golf Championship will be played at the Ralph Myhre Golf Course on the campus of Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vt. on Saturday, October 6 and Sunday, October 7. The event, which is held in conjunction with the George Phinney Jr. Golf Classic, will begin with a shotgun start at 1 p.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. on Sunday.
Williams has won all three NESCAC Championships. Last season, the Ephs held a one-shot lead over Amherst heading into the final round and finished the day with a 12-shot advantage to capture the title. Elizabeth Gudas, of Williams, took home medalist honors with a score of 147, helped by a one over 72 in the final round.
The 2018 NESCAC Championship could be one of the most competitive in the brief history of the event, as nine of the top-10 golfers from last season return to the field, including the medalists from 2015 (Cordelia Chan, Williams) and 2016 (Chloe Levins, Middlebury). Additionally, Trinity College, will be represented as a team as the Bantams are playing their inaugural season at the varsity level.
A preview of the tournament field, based on the order of how the teams stood on the final day last season, begins with the three-time defending champion Ephs.
Williams opened the season at the Dartmouth Invitational, playing against several of the top Division I teams in the region, and finished 10th. The Ephs earned second place at the Mount Holyoke Invitational, finishing three strokes back of Amherst, and placed second at its own invitational, the final tune-up before the NESCAC Championships. Senior Cordelia Chan (Windsor, Ontario), the NESCAC Player of the Year and an All-NESCAC First Team selection last year, was the Ephs’ top golfer in the first two events. She finished in a tie for 20th with a score of 150 (77-73) at Dartmouth. At Mount Holyoke, she broke her own school record 18-hole score she set as a first year by one stroke, firing a five under 67 on the final day. She also set a new 36-hole mark with a two-day total of 142 (75-67) and earned medalist honors. Chan finished eighth (78-77-155) at the Ephs’ tournament. First-year Joanna Kim (Edina, Minn.) was the team’s top golfer at the Williams Invitational, posting rounds of 75 and 77 for a two-day total of 152 to place third overall.
Amherst, the NESCAC Runners-Up last season, return four of the five golfers who competed in last year’s championship, including sophomore Isabelle Ouyang (Edina, Minn.) and junior Morgan Yurosek (Irvine, Calif.). Ouyang was the 2017 NESCAC Rookie of the Year and both golfers earned All-NESCAC First Team honors last season. Amherst won both the Ann S. Batchelder Invitational at Wellesley and the Mount Holyoke Invitational to start the season and finished third at Williams. Yurosek, the 2016 NESCAC Rookie of the Year, was the medalist at the Batchelder Invitational, shooting a 76 and 70 to finish with a top score of 146. She was the runner-up at both Mount Holyoke (76-72-148) and Williams (80-71-151). First-year India Gaume (Mission Hill, Kan.) has also contributed to the team, finishing second at Wellesley (75-74-149) and tying for ninth at both the Mount Holyoke (82-75-157) and Williams (81-76-157) tournaments.
Juniors Chloe Levins (Rutland, Vt.) and Blake Yaccino (Kenilworth, Ill.), who both earned All-NESCAC Second Team honors last season for Middlebury, return to lead the squad. The Panthers have finished as the NESCAC Runners-Up twice in the last three years. Middlebury started the season with a second-place finish at the St. Lawrence Invitational, placed fourth at the Batchelder, and finished fifth at Mount Holyoke and Williams. Levins, the NESCAC Championship medalist in 2016, led the Panthers at Wellesley with a two-day total of 152 (75-77) to tie for third place. She finished fifth at the Mount Holyoke tournament (75-77-152), was seventh at St. Lawrence (75-76-151), and earned medalist honors at Williams, firing a 70 on the first day and finishing four over at 146. Yaccino finished fourth at both the St. Lawrence and Mount Holyoke Inviationals, posting a score of 150 at each tournament. She tied for 17th at Williams with a two-day total of 161 (78-83).
Hamilton has finished fourth in each NESCAC Championship. The Continentals have earned top-10 finishes in each tournament this season, and won their own invitational and the William Smith Invitational. Senior Libbie Warner (Richmond, Va.) and first-year Emily Moy (Cohasset, Mass.) have led the Continentals this year. Warner has been the top finisher for Hamilton four times and had season-best third-place finishes at Hamilton’s own tournament with rounds of 83 and 80 (163) and at William Smith (77-78-155). She also finished in a tie for seventh at the St. Lawrence Invitational (72-79-151) and tied for ninth at Mount Holyoke (82-75-157). Moy was the runner-up at the William Smith Invitational, shooting a score of 154 (79-75).
Bowdoin is led by the duo of juniors Caroline Farber (Providence, R.I.) and Emme McCabe (Dover, Mass.). Farber led the Polar Bears to three straight wins to open the year at the Bowdoin and Bates Invitationals and the Maine State Championship. Farber fired a one under 73 to win the Bowdoin Invitational, carded a 76 to win the Bates Invitational and finished the Maine State Championship tournament with a two-day total of 150 (78-72). She also led the Polar Bears to a 14th place finish at Mount Holyoke and posted back-to-back rounds of 83 (166). McCabe was the runner-up at both the Bates Invitational (85) and Maine State Championship (80-77-157) and placed third at the Polar Bears’ Invitational (87).
Bates finished third in three tournaments leading up to the NESCAC Championship. Sophomore Brittany Seipp (Glen Head, N.Y.) finished in a tie for fourth at the season-opening Bowdoin Invitational (92) and was seventh at the Bobcats’ own invitational (94). Sophomore Eleanor Murphy (Schwenksville, Pa.) was the top Bates golfer at the Maine State Championship shooting a 173 (90-83) to finish tied for fifth. Classmate Andrea Hepfinger (Madison, Wis.) has also contributed this season, tying for seventh at Bowdoin (94) and earning fifth place at the Maine State Championship (88-89-177).
Trinity is making its debut as a team in this year’s NESCAC Championship. Senior Sarah Vimini (Easton, Conn.) and sophomore Gabriela Christensen (Cottage Grove, Minn.) competed as individuals in last year’s event. Vimini has been the Bantams’ leader this season. She was runner-up at the Bowdoin Invitational (78) and placed third at the Bates Invitational (89). She also posted scores of 172 (91-81) and 161 (80-81) at Wellesley and Mount Holyoke, respectively.
Wesleyan will once again have individual golfers competing in the NESCAC Championship. Juniors Saadia Naeem (Scarsdale, N.Y.) and Emma Mehta (Wellesley, Mass.), and first-year Meg Wiley (Martinsville, Md.) are scheduled to participate.
Results for the NESCAC Men’s Golf Championship Qualifier will be available at the completion of each day at the NESCAC.com.