Women’s Golf Team’s Successful Campaign

Recap of the successful fall season for the NYU women’s golf team

By Bradford Yau, Contributing Writer

The fall campaign for NYU Women’s Golf has finally come to an end. The Violets played their final tournament of the season on Oct. 13 to 14, in Bloomfield, New Jersey as part of their annual NYU Fall Invitational. NYU finished strong on day one, holding on to first place with an eight-stroke lead, but couldn’t hang on to the momentum when it finished 19 strokes behind Williams College, earning them second place. Though they did not finish with a victory, they had an impressive season nonetheless, including first-place finishes in their last two tournaments.

Ranking-wise, the girls finished first in the East Region and fourth in national Division III rankings.

Breaking down the end of the season, Coach Brad Johnson sees room for improvement, but still feels the team isn’t given the credit and recognition it deserves on a national level. Despite this, Johnson remains very optimistic about the second half of the season in spring 2019 with winning a national championship as their ultimate goal.

“Come spring, we should be back strong, and we should have a great shot in winning the Liberty League,” Johnson said. “We are a mentally better compared to last season because we are an older team with more experience.”

The numbers verify Johnson’s claim: upperclassmen make up more than 50 percent of the roster, and the leadership and knowledge that they provide are invaluable. Due to this, the chemistry between teammates has never been higher.

CAS senior Jennifer Bluetling credits this cohesion to the team’s collective history.

“[We] have known each other for a long time and spend so much time with one another,” Bluetling said. 

This is only one piece of the puzzle, as there are also four first-years that have joined the roster. In past years, the underclassmen have needed some time assimilating with the team and adjusting to college golf, but Bluetling finds the opposite has happened. 

“The [first-years] have meshed extremely well with us, and we feel like a complete team,” Bluetling said. 

Teamwork, surprisingly, is an essential aspect of golf, even though it’s known as an individual sport. The bond formed by the girls on the golf team is the most important factor in their success on the course.

“Even though golf is an individual sport, it is important to emphasize that this is a team effort,” Bluetling explained. “We have five players and only four scores count play at a time, so we can rely on our teammates to carry us if we have a bad day and we must support on one another to perform the best.” 

In women’s golf, you are only as good as your team is. However, it is a considerable advantage when a teammate performs extraordinarily well, ultimately helping their team win the game. CAS junior Arisa Kimura did just this, as her career-best performance set the Violets up to win the General’s Invitational tournament just two weeks ago. 

“Everything was going in that day, such as making putts that I usually wouldn’t make on a regular basis,” Kimura said. “But overall I was just focusing on maximizing the most points for the team.” 

While she believes that her skill set isn’t the best, she credits her performance to the team’s strong mental state. 

“We have a disadvantage compared to different colleges because of our lack of land and resources, so we have to make it up with a mental edge,” Kimura said. 

The women’s team will get a five-month break before it has to play its first tournament of the spring season. Plans for the offseason vary depending on the schedule of the athlete, but Kimura already knows her project. Given the luxury of many more golf courses in Japan, she will be there working out in the gym and practicing during her winter break. However, she emphasized that she will be taking a short break from golf to physically and mentally re-energize. 

The Violets’ spring season will begin on March 9, when the path to a national championship begins.

A version of this article appeared in the October 29 print edition. Email Bradford Yau at [email protected]