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Hawkeyes women’s golf to open their season in East Lansing

BY COURTNEY BAUMANN | SEPTEMBER 12, 2014 5:00 AM

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The Iowa women’s golf team will kick off its 2014-15 season Saturday and Sept. 14 in East Lansing, Michigan, at the Mary Fossum Invitational.

The lineup for this weekend features the top six golfers from the five qualifying rounds the team played during the past week. Jessie Sindlinger, Amy Ihm, Jessica Ip, Nicole Rae, and Elisa Suarez will make up the team, and Jessie Jordan will play as an individual.

“We’ve been trying to play a lot … we’ve just been trying to get into the competitive mode,” Iowa head coach Megan Menzel said. “They’ll play as much as they can this week to work on a few things, but we just want them to get out and get excited for the weekend.”

The Hawkeyes will compete against Big Ten rivals Michigan and Michigan State as well as 12 other teams: Ohio, Central Michigan, East Tennessee State, Eastern Michigan, Ferris State, Florida International, Grand Valley State, Houston, Notre Dame, Oakland, Toledo, and Western Michigan.

The last time the Hawkeyes golf team headed to East Lansing for the Mary Fossum Invitational was 2009.

“We like to mix it up a little bit,” Menzel said. “We’ve gone to Lincoln [Nebraska] the past few years, so sometimes it’s nice to change up the venue.”

In preparation for the opener, the team has been practicing hard, particularly on the short game.

“I’ve been working on my chipping and putting a lot this week, a lot of short game,” Sindlinger said. “It’s kind of a longer course this weekend, so the short game is going to be really important.”

Freshmen Ip and Suarez said they have also been working on their short games.

“I’m feeling very confident with my drives,” Suarez said. “I just need to gain some confidence in my shorter putts.”

On Sept. 3, Sindlinger, Suarez, and Ip were all named to the 2014-15 Big Ten women’s golfers to watch list.

While all three said they were honored by the recognition, Sindlinger and Suarez said the honor gives them more drive to keep working hard.

With the honor comes some pressure, however.

“It puts on a little bit of pressure because I feel like I’m expected to perform, but I’m going to try to put that aside and focus on my own thing,” Ip said. “I’m going to not think of it as being my first tournament, too.”

Sindlinger competed in every tournament as a freshman last year, and she has used that to help this year’s freshmen, including Suarez and Ip, get comfortable with the program.

“Playing all of last year was really helpful. It gave me a lot of experience, and it helped to know what to expect,” she said. “I’m able to help the four new freshmen get comfortable and lead by example.”

Follow @cbomb12 on Twitter for news, updates, and analysis about the Iowa women’s golf team.


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