September 3, 2003
The Amherst women's golf team finished eighth in the final National Golf Coaches Association (NGCA) rankings, placing no worse than 10th in any of its nine tournaments. The fall season was outstanding for the Lord Jeffs. After starting with a 10th-place finish at the Dartmouth Invitational, Amherst bounced back to finish third at the Bryant Invitational, where senior co-captain Katie Gravel shot back-to-back scores of 85, good for eighth place in the tournament. The Jeffs closed out the fall season with two first-place finishes. Sophomore Emily Foran led the way at the Lady Eph Fall Invitational with a first-place finish and a round of 77, winning the tournament in a three-way playoff. Gravel finished only one shot off the lead and tied for fourth place with a round of 78. She came back the following weekend and shot a tournament-low 84 at the Wellesley Invitational, five strokes better than the second-place finisher. The spring season was plagued by poor weather, but the Lord Jeffs still managed to post impressive scores. Gravel was the top player in all four of the spring tournaments, highlighted by her first-place finish at the Massachusetts State Invitational. The Jeffs finished fifth at the Brown Invitational, second at the Wellesley Invitational, second again at the Massachusetts State Invitational and then closed its season with an outstanding third-place finish at the Northeast Championships. The Jeffs could have qualified for the NCAA championships, but withdrew from consideration due to a scheduling conflict with final exams. "It was the right thing to do," said head coach Michelle Morgan. "In an educational environment such as Amherst, this took a lot of pressure off the team. Although we were a little disappointed, we were relieved at the same time." Additionally Morgan was named the National Golf Coaches Association (NGCA) Division III Region I Coach of the Year and the NGCA Division III Co-National Coach of the Year.
The Lord Jeffs leave big shoes to fill with the graduation of co-captain Katie Gravel. Gravel was the team's leader in eight of their 10 outings as a senior, and earned NESCAC Spring All-Academic honors. Fellow co-captain Jeannie Limpert also graduated and was a great leader and contributor.
Amherst returns a strong group to the links, led by senior Kate Kuchefski and junior Emily Foran, who burst on the scene as a first-year with a fourth-place showing at the 2002 NCAA Championship Tournament. Junior captain Meg Sullivan, classmate Sarah Godwin and sophomore Melissa Sidman have all improved dramatically and are expected to continue to grow. "This group shows a wealth of potential and should do great things this year," said Morgan.
First-years Sarah Harper (Rochester, MN) and Lauren White (Brookline, MA) join the Lord Jeffs this fall. Both have an opportunity to contribute to Amherst's continued successes.
Women's Golf Set For Return To the Links
September 3, 2003