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Rough starts troublesome for women’s golf

BY COURTNEY BAUMANN | NOVEMBER 05, 2014 5:00 AM

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The Iowa women’s golf team ended its season on a good note, but only because of its last round in the final tournament of the fall season. The season’s last round, which took place Monday, was one of only four where the Hawkeyes shot 303 or below. Every other round’s score this season was above that mark.

The team had a lot of ground to make up, though. In fact, that has the problem the Hawkeyes have faced in nearly every competition they golfed this season.

With the exception of the Old Waverly Bulldog Invitational, the first round has been the worst for Iowa in each of its stroke-play competitions.

“That’s something that’s been particularly frustrating for us, and it’s something that we’re going to have to talk about as a team during the off-season,” head coach Megan Menzel said.

For the golfers, starting out strong could make all the difference in terms of tenacity.

“I think it just brings confidence. It makes you feel like you can compete with anyone,” Shelby Phillips said. “We figured that out later in the season rather than earlier.”

Amy Ihm said a solid first round is essential for a positive outcome. The junior said a good opening 18 holes can set the tone for the rest of the tournament.

The reason the Hawkeyes have had such a tough time starting out could be due to any number of reasons, including nerves, the course, and the time, Ihm said.

Menzel had another idea of what could be the cause.

“It could be the inexperience that we have in college golf in our lineup,” she said.

In its starting lineup over the past three tournaments, Iowa has featured only two upperclassmen.
Along with the inexperience, Menzel also said nerves could be part of what is causing rough first rounds.

“I think sometimes they get nervous and try too hard, rather than just relaxing and playing,” she said.

Now that the fall season has come to a close, the Hawkeyes will head into the off-season with their eyes on improving for the spring season.

One key point Phillips plans to focus on is confidence and having fun with the game.

“I learned that having fun while playing is all that matters. Lately I have put to much pressure on myself to score instead of enjoying myself,” she said. “I just need to pick a target, make the best swing possibly, and no matter where it goes, walk up to the next shot and do it again. I play the game because I love it, not because it defines me as a person.”

As for the rest of the team, Ihm pointed out confidence and short game as major aspects that it plans to work on.

“There are a lot of obstacles we still have to overcome to get to where we want to be, but we have come along ways this season and are definitely heading in the right direction.”

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


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