The Northwest golf team bounced back from a high-scoring first round with a 13-shot improvement to finish tied for 11th out of 16 teams in the 22nd annual Northeastern State University Women’s Golf Classic Sept. 13-14 in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.
The ‘Cats finished the two-day, 36-hole tournament at a score of 629 (+53), which is the lowest the team has shot since the Augustana Invitational Sept. 29-30, 2018, when they posted a score of 626.
Andy Peterson, Northwest’s athletic director and golf coach, felt his team played well and that this outing was a step in the right direction.
“Solid outing, I think we are going to get better as we go, as we get more rounds under our belt,” Peterson said. “Especially here in the fall with the decent weather, try to set ourselves up for a big-time spring.”
The ‘Cats improved from day one, shooting a 321 (+33) in the first round, to a day two that featured a round of 308 (+20).
Senior Morgan Thiele finished tied for 34th, with a team-high, two-round score of 154 (+10), scoring a 77 (+5) in both rounds, respectively.
Sophomore Elly Speece rebounded well from her first-round score of 81 (+9) by shooting a 74 (+2) in her second round to tally a total score of 155 (+11), placing her in a tie for 37th.
“Speece just shooting two over with three birdies is special, obviously anytime you can be in the low 70’s it is special.” Peterson said about Speece’s second-round performance.
Senior Anna Zech was also able to rebound from her first-round score with the help of a birdie on hole No. 18 in her second round and finish tied for 58th with a total score of 160 (+16).
As Peterson was excited about the team’s ability to rebound from the high-scoring first round, he knows that the program has progressed a lot in the past couple of years.
“I say we shot high at the 321, but three years ago, we averaged a 334,” Peterson said. “So, for us to shoot a 321 and be upset about it is a good sign that we are getting better as a program, and we are improving.”
With the progression that the program has made in the past few years, Peterson has also noticed the progression made already this season with hopes that it will continue.
“We shaved 3 to 4 strokes off from our first tournament,” Peterson said. “So, if we can continue to do that through the rest of the year, we will be in great shape. … Now, that is a tall order, but it is something I think we can do.”
Although the Northwest golf team has progressed, Peterson is still keeping the team focused on putting together whole tournaments.
“We just haven’t done it yet,” Peterson said. “First tournament, last week, we went low day one, then went high day two. Then, we did the opposite this week by going high day one then quite a bit lower day two, so it’s good we learned … but we will get there.”
The ‘Cats will get a chance to work on it this next week as Peterson plans on requalifying before heading out to the Kansas City Cup in Smithville, Missouri, Sept. 27-28.
“We are going to requalify the next week and a half in the lead up to our Kansas City tournament here at the end of the month and try to rest a little bit,” Peterson said.