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Hawkeyes set to travel to Mississippi

BY COURTNEY BAUMANN | OCTOBER 20, 2014 5:00 AM

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The Iowa women’s golf team will attempt to improve upon its recent second-place finish when it travels to Starkville, Mississippi, beginning today.

The team will participate in the third Old Waverly Bulldog Invitational hosted by Mississippi State alongside 12 other teams today through Wednesday. Representing the Hawkeyes will be Shelby Phillips, Amy Ihm, Jessie Sindlinger, Elisa Suarez, and Jessica Ip.

The Hawkeyes have not yet participated in this tournament, but head coach Megan Menzel believes that playing at Old Waverly Golf Course is a good opportunity.

“We’ve heard a lot of great things about the golf course,” she said. “It’s ranked pretty highly in the Golf Digest Top Golf Courses, and they hosted an LPGA Legends event there, so we knew it was going to be a really nice facility.”

This week’s tournament will be unlike the previous ones that the Hawkeyes have played this fall in more ways than one.

“This one is different because it’s 18-18-18, but I like that,” said Sindlinger, the lone sophomore on the team.

Teams will only have to play one round of golf per day, allowing for more rest and time to recover. All three competitions the Hawks have participated in thus far have featured a 36-hole day.

In preparation for the tournament, the Hawkeyes have focused much of their time in practice on the short game.

“We’ve been working on a lot of chipping and putting,” Sindlinger said. “We did a drill where we had to get up and down from different places because we have been trying to work on our percentage. That’s really helpful going into tournaments, knowing that if you miss a green, you can still get up and down.”

Suarez also noted the importance of chipping and putting.

“We’ve been practicing a lot of short game, because the best teams are really good at it. It’s something that decides if you win a tournament or not,” she said.

Coming off of its second-place finish at the Diane Thomason Invitational on Oct. 5, the team hopes to use the momentum it gained. 

“It was a great comeback last weekend, so we have definitely been talking about that a lot and how we maintained our composure and were able to put together two solid rounds to move up the leaderboard,” Menzel said.

Sindlinger and Suarez said the Hawkeyes gained confidence from the solid play at home.

“There is definitely more confidence for the team,” Sindlinger said.  “Everyone is just going to go out and play our games and know that we can do it now.”

Menzel has preached continuing to stay calm and stick to what the Hawkeyes can control.

“I’ve been telling them to continue to take it one day at a time and focus on the short game, course management, and other things we need to work on,” she said. “We are just going to stick to our process.”

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


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