Story by Collin Morris, contributing writer
The Murray State women’s golf team traveled south Monday and Tuesday in pursuit of its third-straight win but fell short by a single stroke to tournament host Southern Mississippi.
After picking up wins at their last two tournaments hosted by Jacksonville State and Southern Illinois, the Racers attended the Golden Eagle Jam tournament hosted by Southern Mississippi.
Murray State trailed Central Arkansas by two strokes going into the final 18 holes Tuesday and, despite surpassing the Bears, still found itself as the runner-up after a late effort pushed Southern Mississippi to the top of the leaderboard.
Head Coach Velvet Milkman praised her team’s effort and attributed its loss to Southern Mississippi’s play.
“It was a great effort,” Milkman said. “I know we didn’t come out on top, but we still played good golf and Southern Mississippi just played a little bit better than we did today. Nothing we can do about that.”
For the second-straight week, the Racers also placed at least three golfers in the top ten. Moa Folke, junior from Tranas, Sweden, finished third, shot 2-over-par with scores of 75-69-74—218. Lucila Puente Rodriguez de Austria, freshman from Seville, Spain, and Linette Holmslykee, sophomore from Veijile, Sweden, tied for seventh, shooting 6-over-par. Rodriguez de Austria and Holmslykee finished with scores of 72-77-73—222 and 76-72-74—222 respectively.
Milkman said she is comfortable with the Racers’ individual play in the fall season and believes they are on the right path to a team championship in the spring,
“You win team championships with depth throughout the lineup,” Milkman said. “Everybody playing well wins championships and they’re all playing well. I’m pleased and proud of how they played today; it just wasn’t quite enough.”
In addition to the team’s top finishers, Sydney Kelley, senior from Paducah, Kentucky, placed right outside the top ten. Kelley shot 9-over-par with scores of 73-79-73—225. Raeysha Surendran, freshman from Selangor, Malaysia, also placed high against those competing individuals. Surendran finished third in a field of ten after shooting 20-over-par with scores of 81-75-80—236.
Milkman and her players are often heard using their slogan of “birdie, birdie, birdie,” but their intent to translate that into a witty pun was foiled on Tuesday.
“Three in a row was our goal,” Milkman said. “We were going to get shirts that say win, win, win. Maybe now we’ll get shirts that say win, win, second win.”
Milkman’s plan for her team T-shirts may have been foiled, but she is still optimistic about the future.
“Now our goal is to go in and compete for the top tournament time,” Milkman said. The Murray State women’s golf team has only one tournament remaining in its fall season that will take place Oct. 17-18 in Memphis, Tennessee, at Ridgeway Country Club for the University of Memphis Intercollegiate.
Murray State’s first tournament of the spring is the Kiawah Island Intercollegiate hosted by the College of Charleston in South Carolina.