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Women’s Golf has high hopes for season

September 2, 2011

Joe Florio/The Courier - Freshmen Megan Shultz and Breanne Ford practice driving for the upcoming Illinois College Fall Invitation on Sept. 3-4. At the last weekend’s meet at Augustana, Schultz tied for 19th with an overall score of 95. Ford placed 29th out of 31 competitors with an overall score of 102. The team’s highest scorer was freshman Korri Crawford, who tied for 16th with a score of 94.

Despite a relatively young team, five out of nine players are freshman, the women’s golf team has the opportunity to win conference this year—a feat that would earn them an automatic bid to the national competition.

Coach Molly McNamara said she has high hopes for her players this year.

McNamara knows what it takes to win conference. She was on the 2002 team that took the honor. It was the last time Monmouth College ladies’ golf earned the conference title.

Sunday’s tournament at Augustana was the women’s first taste of outside competition. The results supported McNamara’s confidence.

“The scores we had in this first tournament were already lower than anything we had last year,” McNamara said. “We’ll use each tournament leading up to conference to improve.”

Ultimately, Monmouth finished fourth of four teams at the Augustana meet with a team score of 388. Viterbo University finished first with a team score of 328. Augustana University and Mount Mercy University placed second and third with team scores of  349 and 354, respectively.

While that tournament was relatively small, this weekend’s tournament at Illinois College in Jacksonville, Ill. will have at least 10 colleges competing.

One reason for the optimism is due in part to the five freshman women, who were all among the six players who represented Monmouth College in Sunday’s tournament at Augustana. McNamara said that competition breeds competition, and the freshman women have stepped up the level of competition for the entire  team.

“Since we moved in and started practice, I could tell we were going to be a close team this year,” said freshman golfer Korri Crawford. “Our first week, we played a lot of golf and it seems like it definitely paid off.”

Because of this, players understand their coach’s high expectations.

“Coach is great, she is definitely pushing everyone to do their best and helping us get stronger,” said Crawford. “She knows we can do good things at conference this year and she tries to keep that in our minds.”

 Despite the strength in the team’s younger players, McNamara looks to junior Nicole Hurst to fulfill a leadership role. Hurst has the most experience on the team and is being looked to, not only as a leader on the team, but on the course as well.

This season marks McNamara’s seventh year as the coach of the Monmouth women’s golf team.

The Fighting Scots women’s golf team will next  compete Sept. 3-4 at the Illinois College Fall Invitational.

Ryan Bronaugh
Contributing Writer

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