This weekend the women’s golf team hit the ground running.
Starting their spring season with a second place finish in the NewWave Communications Classic, the Racers are showing to be a promising and formidable opponent in the Ohio Valley Conference.
The invitational was their first and last home event of the season and it was also their first match since playing Middle Tennessee last October.
“I think our scores were better (than last October) but it’s hard to compare scores from one golf course to the other,” Head Coach Velvet Milkman said. “I think we’re at the same place we were at this meet as last fall and I hope we continue to get even better.”
Led by sophomore Delaney Howson with a first round score of 79, Murray State (320) finished the first round above Drury University (321) by one stroke. Conditions were windy, but Milkman said the team adapted well to the weather.
In the second and third rounds, Drury regained the lead with a final score of 628 while Murray State trailed closely behind with 636. The team lost its lead on the putting green, Milkman said.
“The second day, we just didn’t make the putts we needed to win against them,” she said. “We had the opportunity to win, but we just didn’t finish.”
Southern Illinois finished third (642) followed by Marshall University (650), Eastern Kentucky (650), Lipscomb University (701), Jacksonville State (705) and Tennessee State (748).
Drury golfer Katrina Choate won first place in the individual competition with 147.
Howson went on to place second overall with a final score of 152. Close behind was senior Morgan Cross with a final score of 157. Howson and Cross were named to the all-tournament team.
“They’re both very talented players and they have probably had the opportunity to play more this spring than the rest of the team,” Milkman said. “They put in the extra time outside practice because of their schedules so they’re ahead practice wise and it showed.”
Junior Alexandra Lennartsson finished 15th with 164, while junior Alli Weaver earned 17th place out of 51 with 164.
Playing as an individual, freshman Gina Nuzzo and finished in 27th place in front of senior Madolyn Parker, who finished 47th.
As far as this invitational foreshadowing the future season, Milkman said things are still relatively new for the team.
“It’s hard to see where we stand right now because we just started,” she said. “I thought we had a lot of positives in the tournament as well as some things we need to work on, which would be making putts coming in next time.”
The team’s next invitational will be March 12-13 at the Southern Mississippi Lady Eagle Invitational in Hattiesburg, Miss.