Rutgers bests seven teams at Yale Intercollegiate

<p>Sophomore Kortnie Maxoutopoulis led Rutgers this weekend with a score of 219, good for sixth place out of 87 golfers.</p>

Sophomore Kortnie Maxoutopoulis led Rutgers this weekend with a score of 219, good for sixth place out of 87 golfers.

After a 12-day layoff between events, the Rutgers women’s golf team teed off this weekend in its second event of the season, claiming ninth place Sunday in the 16-team Yale Women’s Intercollegiate in New Haven, Conn.

The Scarlet Knights steadily stuck near the middle of the pack, remaining in ninth after each 18-hole round of the 54-hole event.

The team finished with a 932 (316-299-317) overall scorecard, 68 over par and 73 strokes behind tournament leader Nova Southeastern.

The confines were not as friendly as what the Knights experienced at the Bucknell Invitational only 12 days prior.

“[Yale] is probably the best college golf course in the whole country,” said head coach Maura Waters-Ballard. “Very challenging — lots of hills, lots of deep bunkers, undulating fast greens.”

Sophomore Kortnie Maxoutopoulis once again led the Knights, carding a 219 and tying for a sixth-place individual finish in the 87-player field.

“She’s so focused,” Waters-Ballard said. “She’s working really hard. We tweaked a little bit of her mechanics in her putting last week. So her putting made great strides this week. She’s got the whole package and everything in line right now.”

Senior co-captains Brittany Weddell and Karen Cash tallied totals of 230 and 241, respectively, to assist Maxoutopoulis in the team’s effort against its competition.

“I knew it was a strong field coming in,” Waters-Ballard said. “My veterans did well, I thought. I was very pleased with the way they kept the focus and played well each round.”

But the Knights’ youth could not give the veterans much support.

Freshmen Melanie Chambers and Samantha Moyal recorded shot totals of 244 and 252, respectively, to complement the rest of Rutgers’ scorecard.

“The freshmen were inconsistent and struggled,” Waters-Ballard said. “I think with it being a three-day event — especially on the third day — they might’ve lost the focus a little bit.”

It was the first three-day tournament for the team’s five freshmen in their collegiate careers — a more mentally challenging grind than the opening two-day invitational at Bucknell.

The third day of the event was difficult for the entire team, as the Knights collectively carded a 317, their worst round of the tournament and 12th in the field.

“It got windy [on the last day],” Waters-Ballard said. “The wind, the tough golf course and the [freshmen’s] lack of experience with this level of competition I think had them struggling a bit. But I think they got a ton of experience this weekend.”

Rutgers looks to regroup this week as it prepares to host the Rutgers Invitational on Oct. 5 and 6 on a familiar Piscataway course.

“We’ve been shooting some really great scores at home in our practice rounds,” Waters-Ballard said. “I think we’re going to do really well. We’ve got about a week and a half to prepare.”

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