Women’s golf struggles in Texas

Jonathan Lowe

The ISU women’s golf team struggled during their second tournament of the spring season. The Cyclones finished 12th out of 12 teams at the Betsy Rawls Longhorn Classic in Austin, Tex. In the end, the Cardinal and Gold finished with a team score of 969 for the three-round event. The University of Tennessee took the title at this showcase event which featured top players and squads from the Big 12, Big 10 and Southeastern conferences. The Lady Volunteers shot 899, surpassing both Texas and Texas Christian by five strokes.

Tennessee was led by medalist Young-A Yang, who shot 218 to claim first place. Purdue’s Kari Damron and Randi Meadows from Texas tied for runner-up, finishing two strokes back of Yang.

Noel Jacobusse was the low scorer for Iowa State, completing her tournament with a score of 235. Laura Wells ended up at 239 while Cathy Ennis just missed finishing in the top 50 with a final tally of 244.

Heather Elenbaas and Sarah Gilbert finished the Cyclone scoring with totals of 253 and 266, respectively. Only two out of 15 rounds played were completed with a score below 79.

After finishing eighth in their first tournament of the semester, Iowa State’s finish did not do anything to strengthen their chances to make a run toward the regional tournament.

“We needed a good showing there and we didn’t get it,” said ISU head coach Julie Manning.

The team competed without freshman Lisa Meshke, who had been an integral part of the ‘Clones lineup all season. She missed the trip due to recurring back problems.

Mother Nature has been another problem that the Cyclones have had to deal with. Because of the harsh winter weather that has plagued Iowa, the squad has not had the opportunity to practice or compete outdoors since last October.

“When you don’t play against others competitively, you forget how to put the ball in the hole,” Wells said. “It’s hard to come back from not playing outside for two to three months.”

“It doesn’t really affect the long game that much,” Manning said, “but until you actually hit the ball into a green, you don’t know how it’s going to react.”

The Cardinal and Gold returned to Ames Wednesday and were allowed to rest during the remainder of the school break. With two more weeks until the next tournament, Manning stressed the point of refocusing the team toward playing better.

“The mistakes that we made were glaring, so it gives you something to come back and focus on,” she said. “They’re much better than this and I know that they’re very disappointed in what happened down [in Austin].”

Despite the finish last week, players like Wells are excited to get back into competition again.

“Personally, I love going up against the best players, it’s the only way you learn to get better,” she said. “We’re not intimidated by the top players at all. We have a problem getting four rounds together.”

Coming up, the Cyclones will see action April 2 and 3 when they go to Buies Creek, N.C. to compete in the Fighting Camel Invitational.