The Drake women’s golf team walked away from the Saluki Invitational in Carbondale, Ill., last Monday with a sixth-place finish and very cold hands.
While chilly weather played a huge factor in golfing conditions last weekend, the Drake women were able to come out of the meet with a two-day total score of 655. The Bulldogs improved by nine points from the first day to the second day with a score of 332 on day one to 323 on day two.
“Overall we’d like to have individual scores in the 70s, but I think we did a good job because we improved on the second day,” freshman Hadley Jennings said.
Senior Kaitlyn Mauk had a successful weekend, tying for 10th place with a two-round total of 161, shooting an 81 on Sunday and then an 80 on Monday. Other teammates who added to the team’s high placing were senior Michelle Mathwick shooting an 162 overall score, junior Chelsey Falk shooting a 168, junior Christy Whittmer shooting a 170 and Jennings shooting a 165.
“Our team goal is to shoot around 315 which is all of our scores in the 70s,” Jennings said. “We’re all very capable of that , but we haven’t reached that goal yet.”
Not only did the cold weather present a challenge to the golfers, but the tricky layout of the course proved to be an obstacle as well. According to Jennings, there were several tough holes all in a row that were mentally challenging to prepare for.
The drawn out winter weather, including frigid temperatures and snow, has slightly inhibited the team due to the fact that they have been unable to hold practices outside for the vast majority of the spring season. Practices are typically held in the Drake Fieldhouse or in an indoor dome in Urbandale. These indoor practice facilities do not allow players to practice to their fullest potential.
“The hardest thing coming from winter is that we hit balls all the time, but we never chip and putt,” Jennings said. “So I think a lot of people struggled getting their short game down.”
Overall the Drake women played consistent in last weekend’s invitational. Mauk and Mathwick ended the weekend with fairly consistent back-to-back rounds, which was a driving factor to the team’s overall success. Simple, consistent play, as opposed to fancy and risky golfing, was a key factor leading to the Bulldogs’ sixth-place finish.
The women are looking for more spring weather in the near future so that they will be able to get outside more often to work on more specific aspects of the game.
“We don’t ever really know until the day comes whether we’ll have practice outside or not,” Jennings said. “Being inside is definitely not like the real thing.”
The Bulldogs will be back in action April 11-12 at the Wichita State Invitational in Andover, Kan.
Saluki Invitational final results
10. Kaitlyn Mauk (81-80 = 161)
14. Michelle Mathwick (81-81 = 162)
26. Hadley Jennings (87-78 = 165)
35. Chelsey Falk (84-84 = 168)
46. Christy Wittmer (86-84 = 170)
Team: Sixth Place (332-323 = 655)