The 13th-ranked women’s golf team put up a fine showing at the 2011 Jack Leaman Women’s Golf Championship, which was played out at the Hickory Ridge Country Club last weekend. The two-time defending champions of the event shot a two-day total of 667 to finish second and continue building momentum in what is becoming a strong spring season. Only Methodist University (651), the top-ranked team in the nation, outperformed the Jeffs, who upset No. 3-ranked Williams (677). In the individual competition, Kimberly Eaton (80-78-158) of Wellesley College was crowned champion, as she held off Georgiana Salant (82-77-159) of Williams and Lady Jeff Liz Monty ’13 (81-78-159) for a one-stroke victory . Joining Monty in the top 10 was her teammate, Hayley Milbourn ’11, who finished in eighth place (81-84-165).
The major storyline after day one of the championship was the weather. The rain and cold heavily influenced play at the Hickory Ridge Country Club, as no player shot under 40 on the back nine. Eaton battled the elements better than any other individual did, shooting a 78 for a two-stroke lead heading into the clubhouse, while the two Lady Jeffs, Monty and Milbourn, lurked three shots back. In team play, Amherst (338) stood only six shots back of Methodist’s 332, while Williams (348), NYU (352) and Vassar (356) rounded out the top five.
For their struggles on day one, the players were rewarded with significantly improved weather on Sunday. Dry grass and warmer conditions at The Orchards Golf Club led to much lower scores across the board, as 11 of the 12 competing teams shot lower on day two than they had at Hickory Ridge. Nevertheless, no team could turn the tide against Methodist, who pulled away from the rest of the competition with an impressive second round score of 319. Similarly, Amherst and Williams’ scores improved from round one, as both shot 329, holding position and finishing second and third, respectively.
Among individual performers, Liz Monty shot a second round 78 to close within one of the leader, while Hayley Milbourn, the tournament’s three-time defending champion, regressed three shots from her first round score to post an 84. The Jeffs also received notable performances from Kristen Lee ’14 (88-83-171), who tied for 18th place, and Elaine Lin ’12 (91-84-175) and Laura Monty ’11 (88-87-175), who tied each other in 29th place.
This performance represents the Lady Jeffs’ second runner-up finish of the season, which is an impressive feat. The team will take many positives from this performance and hope to build on this momentum as they head into the final tournament of the season, the Williams Invitational. The Lady Jeffs will look to make one last push up the rankings and wrap up the season in style.