Golf looks to improve as end of season looms

Photo provided by Truman Athletics

Truman State University’s golf team finished eighth out of nine teams in their second tournament of the season at Dan Salisbury Memorial in Springfield, Illinois at the end of last month.

Senior Brooke Kelley led the team with a score of 22-over-par 166, placing 17th in the tournament. Junior Lindsey Repp tied for 22nd with a score of 25-over 169. Freshman Emily Ducaji scored a 27-over 171, sophomore Katie Gastrau got a 28-over 172 and freshman Maya Schnable scored a 39-over 183 in her first tournament. Senior Madison Weilbacher was also able to compete as an individual and scored a 37-over 181.

Head golf coach Clint Fitzpatrick said the team scored better than it did at the previous tournament, but it faced tougher competition and finished worse. Fitzpatrick said he thinks the course at the Dan Salisbury Memorial tournament was easier and the Bulldogs worked hard between tournaments to correct any issues they might have been facing.

“The first tournament of the year we sometimes have some jitters, and by the second tournament we’re settled in and ready to go,” Fitzpatrick said. “Since we’re a fairly young team, it was nice for them to get the first one under their belt, and they did well. I was happy for them.”

Fitzpatrick said between tournaments the team worked out different issues from the feel of the green to keeping the ball in the fairway, which he said is a big problem for the team.

He said the goal going into the second tournament was to improve. He said the team’s target is to consistently score in the 330s, which the Bulldogs were able to accomplish by the second day of the tournament.

“Everybody on the team did well,” Fitzpatrick said. “So the most exciting thing for us was because we played two days, everybody either shot the same score or improved from day one to day two.”

Fitzpatrick said Ducaji was helpful in providing the team local course knowledge because the tournament was held at her home course. He said the rest of the team was new to the course.

The team held a qualifying competition last weekend to determine who the top five are and who will be competing in the next tournament. Fitzpatrick said the top three spots are pretty consistent, but there are about 4-5 golfers battling for the fourth and fifth spots, making them pretty competitive. So far, there are only two members on the team that have not gone to a tournament this year.

The Bulldogs will compete in the Lady Panther Fall Invitational at Silo Ridge Country Club in Bolivar, Missouri. Fitzpatrick said the team’s goal for the next competition is to place higher than they did in the last tournament and score the lowest two-day total of the year.