Golf team turning the corner
The fifth ranked women’s golf team suffered a first round 346 at the Northern Kentucky University Spring Invitational this past weekend and wound up in 15th place overall, but Washington University left Perry Park, Ky. feeling far more optimistic than they did coming in on the strength of a Day Two 328.
Although the field consisted mostly of D-II schools and foreboding weather forced players to play 30 holes on Saturday with the final six on Sunday, Wash. U. is likely to take another hit in the next rankings as a result of finishing behind No. 8 Illinois Wesleyan University (315-322, 637), No. 21 Otterbein College (333-331, 664), and Wittenberg University (322-346, 668). The Bears also fell to St. Louis rival University of Missouri-St. Louis. The Div. II Tritons tied IWU for fifth place.
Nevertheless, the second day saw plenty of progress for the team. Freshmen Hannah Buck and Melanie Walsh along with senior captain Kris Zeschin all carded spring-bests on the second 18. Buck had a 79 to follow a First Round 80 to finish in a 5-way tie for 27th place—fifth best among D-III golfers. Walsh and Zeschin both had 83s to succeed a 90 and an 88 respectively.
“We’re just now starting to get back into it,” said Buck. “I think we’re all really close.”
Wash. U. also got season-bests on Day Two from junior Kate Pettinato (88-84, 172) and sophomore Katie Homa (93-83, 176). Homa’s 83 also qualified as the second best score of her career.
The Bears season four-player round average has risen 17 points since the fall when it was at 323. The team recognized the significance of the Second Round score.
“We know that’s where we want to be,” said senior captain Kris Zeschin of the 328. “The glass is definitely half full right now and we’re definitely getting back into our game.”
Competing individually, sophomore Sarah Miller had a season-best 87 in the First Round and finished with 177.
Big sloping greens highlighted weaknesses in the Bears’ short game, which is still being fine tuned, but a week off before the McKendree Spring Invitational just across the Missouri River at Scott Air Force Base, Ill. and improving weather should help the team get its touch back.
“It was hard to get our momentum back [once spring started],” Buck said, “but that second round helped get a lot of our confidence back.”