Women struggle at John Kirk Panther

Freshman Abbi Stamper follows through with her swing. The women were coming off of first and second place finishing at their previous two matches, but struggled Monday and Tuesday due to weather.­ || Photo courtesy of Sports Information

Freshman Abbi Stamper follows through with her swing. The women were coming off of first and second place finishing at their previous two matches, but struggled Monday and Tuesday due to weather.­ || Photo courtesy of Sports Information

The Murray State women’s golf team participated this week in the 20th annual John Kirk Panther Intercollegiate hosted by Georgia State at Eagles Landing Country Club in Stockbridge, Ga.

While enduring 20-mph winds and 35-degree weather conditions, the Racers finished the tournament in last place out of 14 teams.

Despite the team’s struggle, team member Delaney Howson individually placed eighth out of 76 players shooting 235 overall. Murray State Women’s Golf Coach Velvet Milkman said she was very pleased with Howson’s results.

“It was a very good tournament for her,” Milkman said. “Anytime you finish top 10 is good.”

Winning medalist honors in the Bobby Nichols Intercollegiate hosted by Tennessee Tech in Sevierville, Tenn., two weeks ago, Howson has worked hard this season. She was also named OVC player of the week this week for the second time in a row.

Other players who competed for the Murray State team alongside Howson were Alli Weaver, who placed 11th with a score of 246, Abby Stamper, who placed 43rd, Sophie Hillier, who placed 73rd, and Gina Nuzzo, who came in close behind placing 75th.

As the John Kirk Panther Intercollegiate is a regularly played tournament for the Murray State Women’s Golf team, Milkman said the Racers did some great things this year compared to previous years. However, Milkman said there is always more room for improvement.

“I know this wasn’t our best tournament, but I’m still seeing progress,” Milkman said. “I wasn’t displeased with the effort, but our goal is to continue to get better every week.”

In preparation for this tournament, Milkman said the team did nothing different than when preparing for any other tournament. The ladies use their practice time by playing the course and focusing mostly on their short game.

Milkman said this season has been a great season overall for her team, making huge improvements from last year. However, Milkman also said that the team must work on a few other things in order to continue improving.

“We need to work on hitting more greens,” Milkman said. “Our iron play could get better, and our putting could get better as well.”

The Racer Women’s Golf team will compete again Saturday at noon in a duel competition against the Southern Illinois Salukis at Dalhousie Golf Course in Cape Girardeau, Miss.

Story by Taylor Crum, Contributing writer.