Women’s season off to strong start with fourth-place finish

Junior Delaney Howson from Ontario, Canada was sixth overall and was the top finisher for the Racers. || Photo courtesy of Sports Information

Junior Delaney Howson from Ontario, Canada was sixth overall and was the top finisher for the Racers. || Photo courtesy of Sports Information

The women’s golf team is driving their way through the fall season in full force, coming off a fourth-place finish in its season opener at the Chris Bannister Classic. The Racers are now traveling to West Point, Miss., to compete in the Mississippi State Intercollegiate Tournament.

The team defeated Jacksonville State, Belmont University, Western Kentucky, Tennessee Tech, Lipscomb University and Northern Kentucky with an overall score of 932.

Junior Delaney Howson was the top finisher for Murray State, placing sixth overall, just three strokes off the lead. Behind Howson was senior Alexandra Lennartsson tying for ninth and senior Alli Weaver in 21st place.

“Delaney had a very good tournament,” Head Coach Velvet Milkman said. “Any time you have someone finish in the top ten, it’s a great thing. I think all of our players had a very good tournament this weekend, which will help us bring momentum coming up.”

Now, just one week later, the Racers begin preparations for another competition.

The Mississippi State Intercollegiate starting Sept. 10 will host several large schools such as University of Kentucky, University of Arkansas and Kansas State.

“It’ll be pretty big competition,” Milkman said. “But we’re very excited to play SEC teams. Just because they’re in the SEC tournament doesn’t mean we can’t compete well against them. You get better when you play against good competition.”

The tournament will be held at the Old Waverly golf course in West Point, Miss., a course the team has not competed on.

Milkman said she will try to take full advantage of the practice round to get a feel for the course.

“That practice round is going to be important,” Milkman said. “We need to get a feel for where we’re golfing and what we need to focus on and adapt.”

A powerful starting drive will give the Racers an upper hand in the competition. Milkman said the team is doing well with longhand game, giving them an opportunity to establish a lead early on the course.

“Our driving of the golf ball is very good.” Milkman said. “That plays a huge role in golf. Getting on the correct foot at the beginning of every hole puts us in a good position.”

However, the Racers fell short on the putting green at the Chris Bannister Intercollegiate, adding up their stroke numbers and spoiling their strong starts.

Milkman said her biggest concern going to West Point is the short game.

“We need to continue working on our putting,” Milkman said. “That was a huge weakness for us last week. When you go to any golf course, all the greens are different. We need to be better about adjusting to the surface that we’re playing on.”

With their sights set on playing with focus and consistency, Milkman said the Racers are confidently heading into competition.

Story by Carly Besser, Staff writer