HANOVER, N.H. — The Dartmouth women’s golf team is aiming to follow up its third-place finish at the Hartford Invitational last week with another strong showing at the Ivy League Championship this weekend at Metedeconk National Golf Club in Jackson, New Jersey. The Big Green are searching for their first-ever conference crown, but will have to contend with the defending champion and top-ranked team in the league, Princeton, as well as Harvard, which won the league title the previous five years.
The Carolyn A. Pelzel 1954a Head Coach of Women’s Golf, Alex Kirk, believes his players are peaking at the right time to make some noise and move up on the leaderboard after tying for fifth in the league championship last year, the team’s best finish since 2004.
“Jessica Kittelberger has played some of her best golf at Dartmouth this spring with a couple of top-10 finishes and is playing with confidence,” Kirk said. “And all five of our golfers have demonstrated the ability to put together some really good rounds. It is merely a matter of minimizing damage and taking advantage of opportunities when they arise. If we can do that, we’ll be in really good shape.”
As noted, Kittelberger has been playing very well, finishing no worse than the top third of all four tournaments this spring, including a tie for fourth out of 62 last week at Hartford. The senior has the team’s best stroke average at 77.2, which ranks 11th in the Ivy League, and posted the second of her two low rounds on the year — a one-under 71 — two weeks ago at the Harvard Invitational down in Florida.
Sophomore Maddie Nelson has also rounded into form of late, matching Kittelberger at Hartford last week with a two-over 74, not to mention placing in the top third (32nd of 114) at the Otter Invitational on the West Coast in California. While her stroke average for the year is 80.3, her last three rounds on the links have averaged out to 76.7.
The leader of the team is senior captain Isabelle Kane, who in 70 career rounds at Dartmouth has a stroke average of 79.4. Then there is junior Catharine Roddy, averaging 78.9 per round this year, as well as freshman Moon Cheong (79.4), who won a three-team tournament to open the spring back in February with a two-over 146.
The tournament begins on Friday at Metedeconk with one round played per day for three days.