The bitter cold of winter this year affected more than students’ walk to class. The subfreezing temperatures meant the women’s golf team could not get out on the course to practice until last week.
“We’re not used to getting shut off the greens,” senior captain Delaney Howson said. “We’ve only been back on the course for a week and a half.”
Despite the bad weather and poor conditions, Head Coach Velvet Milkman has a confident attitude about her team heading into the season.
“We are a little behind where we normally would be because of the weather,” she said. “Now that we’ve been able to get out on the golf course, though, we’ve had some really good days, and I feel like we’ve made quite a bit of progress.”
Milkman will look to Howson to lead the team through the adverse conditions.
Howson ended the fall season with two first-place finishes, including Murray State’s own Drake Creek Invitational.
Along with breaking the record for lowest round two separate times last season, Howson also leads the conference individually.
“The scores that (Howson) shoots are very important for us, but the fact that she can do that in adverse conditions, and in the cold weather, it encourages the other players to think ‘I can do that, too,’” Milkman said.
Freshmen Sydney Trimble, Jacklyn Van Meter and Minta Yin have all put up eye-popping numbers. Trimble and Van Meter both achieved a top-five finish already last semester, which Milkman said is especially impressive considering they have only played five collegiate events in their careers.
Although Milkman said the team is well-rounded and will rely on scores from every player, the three newcomers have impressed her in their first season as Racers.
“Those three will do good things for us, but it takes the whole team playing well for us to accomplish what we want to accomplish,” Milkman said.
Howson said expectations are high as the team goes into its first tournament at Frances E. Miller Memorial Golf Course March 3.
“The biggest goal is to win the OVC Championship and then win regionals,” Howson said. “And then we just want to win as many tournaments as we can.”
According to Howson and Milkman, the season couldn’t come a moment too soon.
“We are ready for our first tournament,” Milkman said. “We’ve been practicing, but we have a long way to go. They are just very excited to get out there and start playing.”
Story by Peter Northcutt, contributing writer