Women's spring preview: Ivy League
During the month of January, Golfweek will preview the 2014 spring season for each conference. Today, we look at the Ivy League:
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5 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW
• Top of the class: Harvard
• Player to watch: Kelly Shon, Princeton. At No. 98, Shon is the only player in the conference ranked inside of Golfweek’s top 100.
• Freshman to watch: Anne Cheng, Harvard. Just a freshman, Cheng led the Crimson in scoring average and had an individual victory during the fall. She enters the spring ranked 173rd in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings.
• Conference championship: April 25-27, Baltusrol GC, Springfield, N.J.
• Past champions (since 2009): Harvard (2012-13), Yale (2011), Pennsylvania (2010), Harvard (2009)
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(Golfweek/Sagarin rank in parentheses)
- Harvard (65): The Crimson won three of their four fall events, and tied for sixth at the Golfweek Conference Challenge. Freshman Anne Cheng led the team with a 74 scoring average and was one of two Harvard players – junior Tiffany Lim being the other – to post an individual victory during the fall. The Crimson started the same lineup all fall and have arguably the strongest lineup 1-5 in the Ivy League.
- Yale (75): The Bulldogs won twice, at the Dartmouth Invitational and Yale Intercollegiate, and finished second twice during the fall. Like Harvard, Yale is led by a freshman – Elisabeth Bernabe, who is ranked 247th by Golfweek. Three other Bulldogs – senior Seo Hee Moon, junior Marika Liu and freshman Sandy Wongwaiwate – were also ranked inside the top 500 at the conclusion of the fall.
- Princeton (79): The Tigers finished second behind Harvard twice during the fall. Princeton also challenged itself with trips to the Mason Rudolph and Betsy Rawls, but finished 15th and T-14 in those events, respectively. Senior Kelly Shon is one of the best players in the conference and she’ll continue to provide experience to a squad that started two freshmen and two sophomores in the fall.
- Columbia (95): The Lions went T-2, third and fourth to begin the fall before tying for 10th at the Edean Ihlanfeldt Invitational, a great test for this squad. Senior Michelle Piyapattra is the anchor for Columbia and led the Lions in scoring average (74.58), while some combination of three freshmen and two sophomores should fill out Columbia’s lineup this spring.
- Pennsylvania (143): The Quakers had a decent fall, finishing third or better three times in four events and boasting the medalist (freshman Sophia Chen) at the Delaware Invitational. But Penn is a young team with five freshmen in the top 7 on the team in scoring average.
- Dartmouth (201): The Big Green’s best finish of the fall was a third-place showing at the Harvard Invitational, but Dartmouth also had the 204th toughest schedule in the country. There are some question marks on the roster once you get past junior Jane Lee, senior Sarah Knapp and freshman Tara Simmons.
- Brown (211): The Bears were fourth three times in four events during a relatively easy fall schedule. Stephanie Hsieh was the team’s top player in the fall.
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Lance Ringler weighs in on the conference title race
The Ivy League women’s championship could possibly be the best conference tourney this spring. Harvard, Yale, Princeton and possibly Columbia all could win the championship which is being played at Baltusrol GC. What will add to drama that could unfold here in the Ivy League is winning the Ivy’s AQ may be the only ticket into NCAA regional play.