Golf second at IWU Spring Fling
Just as Tiger Woods’ final charge failed to bring him the green jacket during this weekend’s Masters Tournament, the No. 3 Washington University women’s golf team’s best efforts to win the 2013 Illinois Wesleyan University Spring Fling tournament came up short.
After Saturday’s first round, in which blustery winds and the cold pushed the team 10 strokes back of eventual tournament champion No. 6 DePauw University’s impressive score of 311, the Bears were unable to bring themselves all the way back, settling for a two-day 640, 21 strokes back of DePauw.
“We did expect to do well, and second place is pretty good,” freshman Connie Zhou, who finished tied for ninth place individually with scores of 80 and 81 in the first and second rounds, respectively, said. “But the last tournament, we also lost to DePauw, so we’re trying to get back and beat them now.”
Junior Andi Hibbert led Wash. U. with back-to-back rounds of 78, finishing the tournament tied for fifth place overall, and sophomore Olivia Lugar mirrored Zhou’s scores of 80 and 81.
Ironically, the Wash. U. women, who spend hours obsessing about golf and perfecting their strokes, were unable to watch the sport’s most iconic tournament. Instead, they viewed it in the clubhouse and listened on the radio while on the road, returning to campus just in time to catch Australian Adam Scott secure the country’s first Masters win in an exciting playoff with Angel Cabrera.
With the professionals duking it out in the rain at Augusta National, the collegiate golfers had to fight through their own meteorological interference on the Ironwood Golf Course in Normal, Ill.
“[It] was really cold [on Saturday],” said Zhou. “It was 50 degrees and really windy, and it was really windy again [on Sunday].”
These difficult conditions had both physical and psychological disadvantages for the Red and Green.
“Mentally, [bad weather] is a lot harder to prepare [for],” Zhou said. “You have to choose the right club, and it’s really distracting [because] the ball sometimes moves a little bit. It really exacerbates anything with your swing—the wind will just grab your club.”
Rounding out Wash. U.‘s starting lineup were senior Hannah Buck, who improved her opening round score of 83 to get a Sunday score of 79, tying for 13th overall, and senior Melanie Walsh, who finished the weekend tied for 47th and lowered her score from 91 to 85.
But despite the team’s overall improvement, DePauw’s team featured the top two overall scorers and three other players who shot in the seventies on one day, which was too much for Wash. U. and the rest of the field to overcome.
The Bears can feel confident with their play this year, however, as they have finished in the top five in every single tournament in the 2012-13 season. Wash. U. will wrap up its regular season with a match against Illinois Wesleyan University in Springfield, Ill. on April 30.