Both men’s and women’s golf were forced to cut their tournaments short this week due to inclement weather.
The women, who played one round of the Southern Mississippi Lady Eagle Invitational in Hattiesburg, Miss., Monday placed eighth overall in a field of 14 teams.
The men squeezed in two rounds at the UT Martin Grover Page Classic in Jackson, Tenn., tying for fourth place out of 12 teams.
Senior Jordan Smith led the men as the tournament medalist while sophomore Jacklyn Van Meter led the women in fourth place overall.
“This past tournament really helps me be a little more optimistic about the team,” Smith said. “My goal would be to win the OVC Championship. It’s my senior year and it’s something I’ve always wanted. That’s our goal. We’ve just got to work hard.”
The Racers fielded five men in team play while junior Brock Simmons and sophomore Myles Morrissey played individually. Simmons placed 36th with scores of 74-76=150 and Morrissey placed 48th with rounds of 82-71=153.
After placing 11th out of 17 teams at Loyola University’s Snowman Getaway tournament in Goodyear, Ariz., Feb. 22-24, a second bout of snow and ice prevented the men from practicing outside during their two weeks off.
Smith hopes that the team will see better weather and be at Frances E. Miller Memorial Golf Course every chance they get as they prepare for their next tournament.
The Racers will travel to Sevierville, Tenn., March 16-17 to take part in Tennessee Tech’s Bobby Nichols Invitational.
The women haven’t played since October and have had trouble with the weather as well.
Kicking off their spring season with just one round of golf, Head Coach Velvet Milkman was glad that the team got two practice rounds in before tournament play began.
“I was OK with what we did this weekend, because the weather has really put us behind,” Milkman said. “We’ve never gone into a tournament without being able to play a round. I think that’s very tough to do mentally.”
Milkman had predicted that the team’s short game would be where they’d struggle, but she said they were better than she had expected.
“We weren’t really tournament ready, but I’m not discouraged by how we did by any means,” Milkman said.
Five women participated in team play during the tournament while two more, sophomore Minta Yin and senior Gina Nuzzo, played individually. The two scored rounds of 83 and 84 taking 62nd and 65th place, respectively.
With two tournaments over Spring Break, the women are excited to get a few days of play in at the course before joining the men in OVC play at Tennessee Tech’s Bobby Nichols Invitational.
“It’s still early,” Milkman said. “What we can’t do is hit the panic button. They haven’t, and they know that they just have to continue to work hard. And any day that it’s pretty, they have to get out and play.”
Story by Mallory Tucker, Sports Editor