Women’s golf cards lowest scores of the fall

BY J.T. BUGOS | NOVEMBER 05, 2009 7:20 AM

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Two and a half weeks ago, during the Hawkeye Invitational, the Iowa women’s golf team scored its lowest round of the season, carding a 306.

In the Challenge at Onion Creek in Austin, Texas, on Monday and Tuesday, the Hawkeyes shot all three rounds under their previous low.

In round one Iowa scored a 304, but then destroyed that mark in round two, carding a 285. Round three resulted in a higher score, but the Hawkeyes still broke 300 at 299.

Two players shot career lows individually — junior Brianna Coopman posted a 3-under 67, and sophomore Chelsea Harris, who tied for 10th individually, shot a 69.

But for all the individual success the Hawkeyes had in Texas, team success is still a club length away.
Iowa finished 19th out of 21 teams in its last tournament of the fall with a three-round score of 888 (48-over). Texas A&M took the victory with a 1-under 839. The University of San Francisco, which held an 8-stroke lead heading into the last day, finished second with a score of 842.

Even with the low team finish, Coopman left Texas feeling good about the team’s play in the tournament.

“The course was in good shape, the weather was great, and it was perfect golfing conditions, so all the teams had the same advantage as we did,” she said. “This was the toughest field we played in all fall season. We have to look at our own game, and our team’s game, to judge how well we did, and that was good.”

Iowa head coach Kelly Crawford was proud of her team’s play in Austin.

Her hope for the tournament was to play consistently and to the team’s potential, she said, and she feels the Hawkeyes showed that in the numbers they put up.

“I knew we could play well, I knew we could keep the team numbers low, and I knew that the players had the potential to go low,” the fourth-year head coach said. “Our challenges have been having one player go low, and the other four haven’t. We finally had everybody play consistently.”

Crawford said this is the kind of play she’s been expecting all year from the Hawkeyes. If the team had put up these numbers at the beginning of their season in September, she feels they would have fared differently in their tournaments.

One thing she noticed during play was the looseness the players displayed.

“The weather was good, and we were having a lot of fun out there,” Crawford said. “The team was having a really good time, and they just looked totally relaxed. That was the most relaxed I’ve ever seen them, and I think that’s what really contributed to their good play.”

The Hawkeyes must hang on to that feeling and momentum for four months. The Hawkeyes won’t play again until March 7, 2010, at the Eagle Landing Invitational in Orange Park, Fla.

While the Hawks didn’t place as high as they would have liked, the players still managed to finish the fall season on a strong note.

“I’ve been saying all season we’re so close to that breakthrough tournament, and I really feel this is the one for us,” Crawford said. “Unfortunately, we’re not playing again until the spring. But it’s going to leave a good taste in our mouth, and we’ll get an opportunity to think about the success we had, and continue to build on that over the winter.”

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