Story by Mallory Tucker, Staff writer
The women’s golf team finished fifth in a field of eight at the University of Cincinnati Bearcats Fall Classic at TPC River’s Bend Oct. 6 in Maineville, Ohio.
Sophomore Moa Folke’s rounds of 79-81-70 for a final score of 230 led the Racers with an 11th place finish and a career low last round at two-under-par. Senior Sophie Hillier was close behind, tying for 13th place with rounds of 79-75-79 for a score of 233. In addition to playing a great course and diverse, large-university competition, the women benefited largely from one factor of the trip: team bonding.
Five and a half hours in a van to Cincinnati provide plenty of time together for the women, but an element of fun was added during this special road trip. Staying in a hotel next to Kings Island, five of the golfers took a short hiatus to have some fun at the theme park and connect off the golf course. Head Coach Velvet Milkman says this kind of bonding makes a huge difference on the course as well.
“It’s a good trip,” Milkman said. “That’s not a usual trip for us – we don’t get to do that all the time – but that’s one reason I do choose to play in that tournament. There are some extras, but mainly it’s because of the golf course.”
The Cincinnati trip was the second of four consecutive road trips for the Racers, the first of which was Sept 27-29 at the Jacksonville State’s Chris Banister Classic in Glencoe, Alabama. Murray State placed fourth in a field of twelve at Jacksonville State and are excited to see more conference competition – and a familiar course – at Austin Peay State Intercollegiate Oct. 12-13 in Clarksville, Tennessee.
“We’re very familiar with Clarksville Country Club, which is where we’re going, so that’s good,” Milkman said. “You master the greens at that golf course, and you win the tournament. So that’s what we’re going to work on.”
Milkman says she expects a win from the team at Austin Peay, as they’ve won the tournament several times in the past. Last year, the Racers placed second of 10 in the tourney with Folke leading the team in fourth place. Folke’s continued success this season comes as no shock to Milkman.
“Moa’s (Folke) a very good player,” Milkman said. “She’s playing really well, so it doesn’t surprise me at all. I do expect her to continue to shoot those numbers and help lead this team, even though she is a sophomore.”
As a whole, the team is on track for success as each player has shot their personal lowest rounds this fall, adding confidence to their game and a determination to give their best effort even to the last stroke. The Racers have had a busy week, with Homecoming, catching up on classwork, getting much needed rest and improving their game, but Milkman is content with the season so far.
“That’s what makes a good team,” Milkman said. “They all have the confidence that they can shoot par or around par or under par. We definitely have work to do, but I’m pleased. I wish we would have finished a little better – we just had a bad first round – but they bounced back from that, so that’s the key.”