Story by Ashley Beall
This past Sunday, Drake University women’s golf opened its season at the Redbird invitational.
Senior Hadley Jennings led the way for the Bulldogs and helped the team finish in 10th place. Drake finished with an all-around team score of 935.
The Redbird Invitation was hosted by Illinois State and welcomed 14 teams. Illinois State finished in fourth place as a team and was led by Hayley Guyton, who finished in a tie for fifth place, a career-high for her.
All of the competitors in the tournament were plagued by warm temperatures but were able to get past the heat and play.
Jennings finished her rounds on the 36-hole course with scores of 72 and 79 and ended up tying for 20th place with a total score of 151 on the first day of the tournament. Jennings finished on the second day in 13th place with a score of 225.
Junior Danielle Brooks and redshirt sophomore Kimmy Askelson also both played major roles on day one of the tournament by tying for 44th place with the same score of 157 on the first day of the invitational .
Toledo finished in first place with a total score of 890, while Ball State and Bowling Green finished second and third. Bradley had been tied for third place on day one of the invitational but dropped down to fifth place at the end of the tournament.
Drake had been in 12th place on the first day but was able to pick up its game on the second day of the tournament and jump up to 10th place.
“I think there are a number of positives that we can take away from our performance to open the season this week,” Drake head coach Leanne Smith said in a Drake athletics press release. “Hadley (Jennings) was able to turn in a very solid tournament, and we benefitted from some quality rounds from everyone else. We will use the next few weeks to work on our short games and talk about how we can be more consistent.”
Freshmen Arianna Gastelum and Sarah Browning made their debuts for Drake golf at the invitational. Gastelum finished the tournament in 44th place and Browning finished in 74th.
This invitational was a big adjustment for the freshmen who usually only play 18 holes during their golf matches, whereas at a college level they play 36-holes.
Junior Ashley Brooks played as an individual and finished the first half of the course with a score of 87 and finished with an 80, which was a career-low for Brooks on the first day. On the second day, Brooks shot an 83 to finish her 54 holes and rounded out her score to a 250.
Drake will continue its season in two weeks when the Bulldogs go to South Dakota and play in the South Dakota Jackrabbit invitational from Sept. 23 – 24.