NEW YORK – With a pair of second-place finishes in its last two events, the Columbia women’s golf team will look to continue its recent success this weekend when the Lions compete in the 2012 Ivy League Women’s Golf Championship at Seaview Golf Resort’s Bay Course in Galloway, N.J.

The three-day, 54-hole conference championship will start with the first round on Friday at 8 a.m. Saturday’s second round and Sunday’s final round will also tee off at 8 a.m. Each round will begin at No. 1 and groups will tee off in eight-minute intervals.

The Ivy League Women’s Golf Championship will also feature live scoring through, so fans can follow the progress of Columbia’s golfers. There will also be a free “Fan Van” for those looking to attend Sunday’s final round at Galloway National Golf Club. The "Fan Van" will leave campus at 7 a.m. Sunday morning from 116th Street and Amsterdam and arrive at the course at about 9 a.m. It will leave to return to campus at the conclusion of the tournament.

    THE COLUMBIA 5    
Michelle Piyapattra Jane Dong Robin Lee Lynda Kwon Lisa Combs

This year’s Columbia five-golfer team competing in the 2012 Ivy League Women’s Championship will feature sophomore Michelle Piyapattra, sophomore Jane Dong, senior Robin Lee, senior Lynda Kwon and first-year Lisa Combs.

Four the first round, Columbia is in two-player groups with Penn's team. Combs will start things off for the Lions starting at 8:40 a.m. with Kwon, Lee, Dong and Piyapattra to follow in eight-minute intervals.

Piyapattra is the defending Ivy League champion as she won last year with a 2-under 214 that was capped by a career-best 3-under 69 in the final round. She was also named the Ivy League’s Player and Rookie of the Year. The Lions took fifth place at 81-over 945.

This season, Columbia heads into the conference championship after playing its best golf of the season in recent weeks. The Lions took second place at both the Monterey Bay Invitational and the 6th Annual ROAR-EE Invitational. Columbia was 20 strokes out of the lead entering the final round at Monterey Bay but rallied back with a 12-over 300 in the final round to finish just three shots back of first. The team shot its lowest round of the year with a 9-over 297 in the final round of the 6th Annual ROAR-EE Invitational and each of the five team players enjoyed season-best performances in either finish, par score or round score.

The Lions rank third in the Ivy League with a 312.59 average team round score and a +24.59 average par score. Four different Columbia golfers have posted top 10 finishes on the season, showing that the Lions’ depth on the team.

Sophomore | Corona, Calif.

For Columbia, it all starts with Piyapattra. All eyes will certainly be on her this weekend as she looks to defend her Ivy League title.

On the year, Piyapattra has tallied two victories and six top 10s. The sophomore sensation leads the conference with a 74.05 round average and a +2.35 average par score. She has also proven that she can elevate her game in crunch time as her final-round average is an incredible 72.25.

Piyapattra’s 2-under 68 in the final round of the Challenge at Onion Creek on Nov. 8 was a career best stroke score and she tied her best par score with a final-round 3-under 69 to win the 6th Annual Roar-EE Invitational on April 14. Piyapattra, who also won the Harvard Invitational on Oct. 16, is one of just four Ivy League golfers with two victories on the season.

She currently ranks 63rd in the Golfstat Cup standings (which is the highest of any Ivy League golfer) with a +3.049 adjusted average.

Sophomore | Fremont, Calif.

Dong is coming off back-to-back top 10 finishes at the Monterey Bay Invitational (t-6th) and the 6th Annual ROAR-EE Invitational (t-9th). She ranks third on the team with a 79.29 round average and her +7.29 average par score ranks her 17th in the Ivy League. Dong had a great showing in the last 54-hole tournament she played in the state of New Jersey. Back on Sept. 24-25, she tied for 13th in the Princeton Invitational with a 78-74-76—228 (+12) for her best three-round performance of the year. Her 9-over 153 at the ROAR-EE was her lowest par score of the season.

As a rookie at last year’s Ivy League Championship, Dong placed 24th with a 27-over 243.

Senior | Highlands Ranch, Colo.

Lee has been one of the Lions’ steadiest golfers all year with five top 20 finishes in seven events. The senior co-captain’s 78.82 round average is second on the team and the lowest of her Columbia career. Her best finish was in Columbia’s very first event of the year when she tied for eighth at the Towson Invitational with a 79-77-156 (+12). Lee’s 10-over 154 at the ROAR-EE was her best par score of the season.

Lee is an Ivy League Championship veteran as this will be her fourth time representing the team on the conference’s biggest stage. As a first-year back in 2009, she tied for 12th with 78-78-78—234. She the tied for 26th in 2010 with an 83-88-85—256. Last year, she carded her best Ivy League Championship round with a final-round 74 to tie for 22nd at 28-over 239.

Senior | North Wales, Pa.

Kwon ranks fourth on the team with an 81.58 round average and 25th in the Ivy League a +9.59 average par score. The senior co-captain shot her lowest round of the year in the final round of the ROAR-EE, carding a 2-over 74. Her best tournament performances was at the Harvard Invitational when she shot 79-78—157 (+23) to tie for fourth.

Like Lee, Kwon has three years of Ivy League Championship experience. As a rookie in 2009, she tied for 22nd, shooting 242. She earned second team All-Ivy League honors as a sophomore in 2010 when she carded a 74-83-76—233 to lead the Lions. Last season, she took 31st with an 83-90-78—251 (+35).

First-year | Warrenton, Va.

Combs’ two best finishes of the year were in Columbia’s last two tournaments. She tied for 25th at the Monterey Bay Invitational with an 80-82-79—241 (+25) and shot 81-81—162 (+18) at the ROAR-EE to tie for 28th. Her 83.20 round average stands fifth on the team and her +11.20 average par score ranks 28th in the Ivy League.