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Sophomore Bridge O’Keefe was the Quakers’ lowest scorer at the Quinnipiac Classic in October, carding an 11-over-par 227 overall and tying for sixth place (Photo from Penn Athletics). Credit: Hunter Martin

With spirits soaring high coming off of last season's Ivy League Championship, Penn women’s golf has embarked on a season already featuring both challenge and triumph. 

The Quakers secured its conference title following a 906 total score at the Ivy League Championships last spring, finishing four strokes ahead of second-place Harvard. Penn also scored just 296 in the opening round — good enough for the lowest score by any team throughout the competition, and the second-best score at this event in program history.

This season teed off with the Princeton Invitational at the Springdale Golf Course, on the Tigers' home turf. The Quakers finished the 54-hole, two-day tournament in fourth place, coming behind Georgetown, Dartmouth, and Harvard. The Red and Blue shot 878, carding a final-round 293 on Sunday to end the competition at 26 over par. 

Sophomore Julie Shin led the team with scores of 74, 73, and 71, finishing the weekend at five-over-par 218 and securing tenth place overall. Fellow sophomore Bridget O’Keefe tied for 15th place at 221, and junior Natalie Cao followed just one stroke behind, and in 17th place. In their first appearances for the team, freshmen Maggie Ni and Madeleine Zang exhibited impressive performances, tying for 20th and 27th place, respectively. 

Penn then ventured to New Haven, Conn. for the Yale Fall Invitational, a place of significant meaning for Shin who had a hole-in-one in her college debut there last season. Penn shot 298 as a team, tying for second place with Dartmouth and Boston University. Notable individual performances include Cao, who tied for third place, and Shin, who tied for eighth place. Cao's exceptional contributions earned her the title of Penn Athletics Student-Athlete of the Week, adding to her extensive list of honors like a second team All-Ivy selection in 2022-23.

The following week, the team traveled to Wallingford, Conn. for the Quinnipiac Classic. The Red and Blue showed progress through each round, shooting a 310 Monday morning and 306 in the afternoon, followed by a 302 on Tuesday to end with a total of 918. The host Bobcats took the title, shooting 895 ahead of competitors including Dartmouth, Yale, and Penn. 

This time, O’Keefe was the Quakers’ lowest scorer, carding an 11-over-par 227 overall and tying for sixth place. She also achieved the team’s low round of the tournament, with a score of 73 on Monday afternoon. Shin tied for 13th with a score of 230, while Ni and Zang both scored 231 and tied for 16th. Cao finished 24th with 238, showing improvement over the course of the three rounds. 

The team will conclude its fall season at the Lady Blue Hen Invitational hosted by the University of Delaware this weekend at the Rehoboth Beach Country Club. Last year, the Quakers tied for third with a three-round score of 897. With an impressive start and a roster boasting a blend of seasoned talent and promising newcomers, Penn is poised to build on the legacy of their previous Ivy League Championships win and, perhaps secure another title. As they prepare to take on their final challenge before a winter break, their ambition to excel remains unwavering. The fairways await, and the Quakers are ready to leave their mark.