Women’s golf places second at WUSTL Spring Invitational

| Senior Sports Editor

After losing by just one stroke last season, the Washington University women’s golf team couldn’t come as close this year at the WUSTL Spring Invite, but the Bears still recorded a second-place finish on Saturday and Sunday in Madison, Ill.

The No. 3 Bears finished with a two-day score of 630 (307-323) to tie with No. 7 Wittenberg University (319-311) for second place behind NAIA No. 6 William Woods University, which scored a 605 (297-308) to win the tournament for the fourth consecutive year. The Red and Green hosted 15 teams, including nine top-25 opponents, at its only home invitational of the season.

“Our home course is pretty straightforward, so we barely have an advantage. We knew what to expect because we’ve played the course when it’s been windy so many times, but overall there wasn’t much of an advantage,” junior Connie Zhou said.

On the first day, the Bears shot a 307 to sit comfortably in second place behind William Woods, and Zhou led the Red and Green with a score of 74 to tie for third place heading into Sunday.

Wind gusts that approached 25 miles per hour played a major factor on Sunday, with 11 out of 15 teams recording a worse score compared to Saturday.

“There was very little room for error, especially on the greens. It’s really hard to putt when you’re trying to stand still against the wind and your ball is moving back and forth at address,” Zhou said.

Battling against the wind, Zhou found a way to fire a 77 on the second day to seize fifth place in the invitational with a final score of 151, just five strokes behind tournament winner Katie Warren from William Woods.

Senior Olivia Lugar, who won the invitational a year ago, nabbed eighth place with a score of 156 (76-80). Sophomore Jessica Wibawa (159, 11th place) and sophomore Samantha Han (161, 15th) narrowly missed the 10-person all-tournament team for the Red and Green.

“I was hitting my irons well the first round and I was scrambling the second round. With the second round being so windy, I made an extra effort to stay patient,” Zhou said. “The team put up some low numbers this weekend, even though we haven’t had the chance to go hard at practice since the weather has been bad.”

After playing four tournaments in the month of March, the team has a weeklong break before competing in the IWU Spring Fling on April 11-12 in Normal, Ill.

“I’m sure they’re looking forward to getting some time to regroup and charge the batteries a little bit,” head coach Sean Curtis said. “We’ve got a couple tournaments in April that we need to get ready for, so that will be the focus.”

According to Curtis, the team will have a different mentality in practice this week without an invitational to prepare for next weekend.

“I’m sure everybody has some things they would like to work on, and we’ll continue to do that at practice,” Curtis said. “It’s a different kind of practice when you’re practicing to work on a few things rather than practicing to get ready to play in a tournament, so the mindset will be a little bit different.”

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