Women’s golf begins ASC tournament play
By Leif Johnston
The women’s golf team has been on a mission this season, and the upcoming tournament April 15-16 will give the ladies a chance to prolong their season and take a trip back to the white sand beaches of Destin, Fla.
They will compete in the American Southwest Conference tournament in Lufkin, Texas at the Crown Colony Country Club. Recently, the women played in the Southwestern Invitational and placed fourth.
“We had been playing well up until this past tournament, but I think our problem was we got out of our usual practice routine,” head coach Darla Kriby said. “The girls are driven and this week we will get back into that routine and I think we will be ready on Monday and Tuesday.”
With a course that many of the girls have only played on once, the Cru will be focusing on some of the details of their game to make sure they are at their best going into the championship tournament.
“We are going to work on our chipping and our putting. Crown Colony is a very tight course so it will be hard to hit a lot of greens there. So we have to make sure our short game is on,” Kirby said.
A big aspect of golf is making sure you have the right mindset and put everything else aside. The Crusaders have perfected that mindset all year long, but now that they are moving on to the big tournaments that mindset can never waver.
“When our mentalities are completely focused and centered on what we’re doing instead of what we’re not doing and what everyone else is doing, we will be able to play our best,” Sophomore exercise and sport science major Emily Santos said.
The competition in the conference has been good all year, but the emergence of UT-Tyler here late in the season has proved to be an obstacle for the Cru. At the Southwestern Invitational UT-Tyler finished first overall, but this won’t intimidate the women one bit.
“At conference it will be UT-Tyler and Schreiner that will be our competitors for the championship. UT-Tyler is playing well and Schreiner can play well at any time…but granted I think when we are playing our best I don’t think they can beat us,” Kirby said.
The team has expressed all season they would love to shoot a team low of around 302. Although in golf you are out there by yourself the Cru makes it evident of just how tight-knit their team actually is.
“Our motto all year has been, ‘playing for each other’ which really shows how much we value success,” Santos said.
In order for the Cru to be an automatic qualifier to nationals, the women will have to win the ASC tournament. And this is just what they plan to do. “If you don’t win the tournament you have to wait until May 6 and see if you get an at-large bid. And we are in good shape there, but we don’t want to have to wait until May 6 to see if we are going to get in. We want to win so we can prepare in the weeks up to the championship,” Kirby said.
Some of the ladies are taking extra time out to meet with specialty coaches to tweak some things in order to fully prepare for these last couple of tournaments.
“A few of us are meeting with our swing coaches for some last minute fixes with things that we struggled with the last tournament so we can get back a little bit of our confidence before we leave for Lufkin,” Sophomore exercise sport science Victoria Thane said.
In this time of the year, unlike the consistency of the Cru this season, the weather has been highly inconsistent.
With rainy conditions during practice, the ladies don’t feel as though the elements will be a disadvantage to them.
Thane explained she wasn’t concerned by the weather, “We’ve played in rain and wind all year, so I really don’t feel like the weather will affect much that we do. Given that we’ve already experienced it.”