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Women’s golf takes second at home

BY COURTNEY BAUMANN | OCTOBER 06, 2014 5:00 AM

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Three Hawkeye women’s golfers finished in the top 15 at the second Diane Thomason Invitational.

Amy Ihm shot 230, with rounds of 77, 76, and 77 to tie for fifth place, and Jessie Sindlinger shot plus-16 throughout the 52 holes to tie for 10th. Freshman Jessica Ip ended the tournament tied for 14th after a strong 5-over performance Sunday.

The team finished plus-67 to take second at Finkbine, 14 strokes behind Illinois.

“It feels great to have three girls in the top 15,” head coach Megan Menzel said. “Honestly, I think some of them are disappointed. I think a lot of them wanted to walk out of here winning, but we have had more and more people competing at the top of the leaderboards, and that’s really exciting. That’s what is going to help us continue to get better.”

Ihm, who led the Hawkeyes both days, had hoped for better.

“Obviously, we wanted to win our home tournament because of all practice we play here, but second isn’t a bad finish, so we’ll take it and learn from it,” the junior said.

The Hawkeyes have two weeks off until they travel to Starkville, Mississippi, Oct. 20-22.

Sindlinger and Ip noted that the Thomason Invitational should give the team a lift in morale. 

“I think the whole team playing well really boosts our confidence. I feel like the past few tournaments, we haven’t really played our best, but now that everybody is playing pretty well, that really sets us up for our next tournaments,” Ip said.

Although the team finished well, not everyone started out that way. Ihm and Ip were the only two Iowa golfers to shoot in the 70s during the first round.

Sindlinger, who shot an 85 the first round and admitted that she did not play smartly, was able to fight back and shoot 3-over the rest of the tournament.

“I started off a little rough,” Sindlinger said. “I said, ‘OK, new round’ and started getting confidence again. I didn’t have to think as much the rest of the time. I just played. Confidence is a big thing.”

For Ihm, however, not much seemed to be a problem.  The junior never fell from the top 10 for the duration of the tournament and was in second place nearly the entire time. It was not until the last nine that she fell in the ranks. Still, fifth place is her college best.

“I thought I stayed somewhat patient,” she said. “Starting out, I just had a groove going. I got into a little stumble on the last nine, but that’s golf, and you have to take it.”

Lena Gautier of Northern Illinois and Dana Gattone of Illinois shared medalist honors.  Neither had taken first at a tournament, posting bests of sixth and seventh, respectively.

Illinois won the tournament for the second-straight year.

“Yesterday was a challenge for everybody,” Illinois head coach Renee Slone said. “I’m very proud of our team even though it was a tough day. I’m very proud of the way they handled themselves and bounced back from a pretty tough day and put together a strong final round.”

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


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