The golf team began its fall 2019 season with a win at the Evangel Fall Invitational, its first win in six years.
Truman State University took first place with a score of 640, which was 16 points ahead of second place Bethany College.
Head coach Clint Fitzpatrick said that the team knew they had the potential to do well going into the tournament. Lindsey Repp, Emily Ducaji, Katie Gastrau, Kara Hunt and Maya Schnable attended the tournament because they had the best season long scoring averages. All five girls golfed, but only the four best scores were added up and used for the tournament. The team finished with a score of 315 on Monday and ended the second day with a score of 325.
Repp finished best overall in the tournament with a score of 79 on the first day and 74 on the second, matching her career-best round score. Ducaji followed in second place, scoring a 78 in the first round, followed by a 77 in the second, setting her personal career-best round score.
“I don’t think anybody expected us to throw out a 315 the first day and it really gave us confidence as a team,” Repp said. “We faltered a bit the second day but still played well enough to take home the trophy.”
Fitzpatrick said he thinks the team’s chemistry strengthens its potential because the golfers hold one another accountable. Each team member has a job, he explained, and the team trusts one another to do theirs out on the course. Fitzpatrick said he thinks the challenges he’s added to practices have helped the girls.
“Again, going back to Lindsey, she made a lot of four, six and eight-foot puts that are hard to do but she’s practiced them so much that it really helped her score,” Fizpatrick said. “So, yeah, again, just going out with better goals and focus I think has helped them and we went into this tournament with the goal of playing well and winning, so that definitely helped.”
Hunt got her first tournament experience at the Evangel Fall Invitational. Even though she scored well the first day with an 84, Schnable beat her with a 78, so Hunt’s score was not used. On the second day Hunt’s 87 surpassed Schnable’s 97, and her round score was recorded for the tournament.
“I thought I played well and I was happy with how it went for it being my first college tournament,” Hunt said. “It was also nice to have my score count on the second day.”
Next week at the Drury Fall Invitational in Bolivar, Missouri, the team will look out for its big swings and hope that its consistency on the course carries over into day two, Fitzpatrick said. Repp, Ducaji and Gastrau will golf at the Drury Fall Invitational since they were the top three performers at the Evangel Fall Invitational for Truman, Fitzpatrick explained. Schnable and Hunt were chosen to attend the Drury Fall Invitational after qualifying based off their season long scoring averages, which is how they were selected for the Evangel Fall Invitational.
After the Drury Fall Invitational, the same group of girls will continue to play at the Flyer Women Intercollegiate because there is not enough time in between tournaments. Fitzpatrick said the quick turnaround will be a good opportunity to see the players’ consistency.