Women’s golf placed second in the 2021 NESCAC Fall Golf Qualifier on Oct. 9–10, earning admission to the four-team NESCAC Championship next spring. Amherst College, who won the event, will host the championship.
Entering the qualifier, the Panthers had played in four other events this fall, including three away trips and a home tournament on Sept. 18–19. The Panthers have maintained discipline and dedication throughout the season, culminating in a strong finish at this event.
“Tournament golf takes a completely different mindset than practicing golf,” captain Katie Murphy ’23 said. “The rounds are longer and much more mentally challenging, but it was great to see our hard work in practice turn into consistency when every player performed well both days of the qualifier.”
After the first day of competition, the Panthers sat in third, trailing Amherst and Hamilton. Audrey Tir ’25 led the tournament as the only player under par after the first day with a score of 70, making her the first Middlebury women’s golfer to shoot below par in a collegiate tournament. Sophia Hwang ’24, coming back from a minor injury, sat in fourth place after the first day with a 72. Murphy and Lizzie Kenter ’23 each placed 13th with scores of 77.
Murphy came alive on day two, shooting a 67, which is the lowest recorded score by a women’s golfer in Middlebury history and a women’s course record at the Nonesuch River Golf Club. This tally helped her to a final score of 144 and a fourth-place finish.
Elsewhere, Tir finished the weekend tied for second, and Hwang finished tied for 12th. With these strong performances, Middlebury earned a second-place finish in the tournament, shooting a two-day total of 595.
The Panthers now have the NESCAC Championship next spring to look forward to, where they will be joined by the other top finishers of the qualifier: Amherst (580), Williams (597) and Hamilton (604).
“We all worked so hard this season, and our competitive practices really prepared us for the final tournament, so ending our season with a second-place finish is amazing,” Murphy said. “This winter, we will be lifting to get us strong for the spring season, as well as hitting indoors to keep our swings dialed.”