Golf nearing its final tournament

The golf team came in third at the Drury University Fall Invitational and eighth at the Lewis Flyer Intercollegiate Tournament. 

Even though the Bulldogs didn’t place in the top three at Lewis, head coach Clint Fitzpatrick said their goal is to win their last fall tournament at the Park University Fall Classic in Parkville, Missouri. 

At Drury, the ladies came in third out of six schools. The team’s stroke consistency improved by two on the second day, but unfortunately Fitzpatrick said scores weren’t ideal on either day. On the first day, Truman State University scored a 342, placing them three points behind Columbia College. The team was not able to catch up with Columbia on day two with a score of 340, but it was able to maintain its lead against Quincy University and Southwest Baptist University, finishing with a total score of 682. 

Fitzpatrick said weather and tougher competition also played a roll at the Drury Lady Panther Event.

“At our first tournament, the weather was beautiful and at this one it rained really hard and made for some difficult conditions,” Fitzpatrick said. “Also, there were more conference teams at this event, making for an increase in the skill of the players.” 

Sophomore Kara Hunt was Truman’s top individual scorer at Drury, tying for 11th place. She finished with an 86 after the first round and concluded with an 83 for the second. 

“It was a little surprising, but it felt good knowing that I am right up there with the older girls on the team,” Hunt said.

After Drury, Truman took home eighth out of 16 teams at the Lewis Flyer Intercollegiate Tournament near Chicago, Illinois. Compared to the Drury Fall Invitational, none of the girls had previously golfed on the Lewis course, Fitzpatrick said, so that — along with some last minute schedule changes occuring at the Tournament — posed a challenge for the team. 

The Drury Fall Invitational tested the team’s attitude and mental toughness with this tournament being the team’s highest level of competition for this fall season, Fitzpatrick said. 

On the first day, the team ended with a score of 335 and finished with a score of 325 on the second. The team concluded the tournament with a score of 663, one shot behind McKendree University.

“I was really pleased with how they did considering the level of competition,” Fitzpatrick said. “We had no expectations going in and to finish in the top half against conference teams and other teams from throughout the Midwest, was very promising.” 

Truman’s top scorer at Lewis was sophomore Emily Ducaji, who started the tournament with an 82 and ended with a 79, tying for 14th. Fitzpatrick said she is one of the team’s most consistent players on the course. 

“All the hard work that I’ve done this fall is really paying off and that goes for the team as well,” Ducaji said. “We are so close to shooting an incredible team score and I think that will be reflected in our performance at Kansas City.”

The fall season will conclude Oct. 21 and 22 at the Park University Fall Classic. Lindsey Repp, Katie Gastrau, Ducaji, Maya Schnable, and Hunt will attend as they are the top five players on the team. Fitzpatrick said the Bulldogs will also be bringing two more women to compete, who are currently undecided, giving tournament experience to those who haven’t traveled yet this season. 

Fitzpatrick said the team is confident going into the tournament because last season it placed second, and he said he believes this would be a great way to end the season and send off Repp, whose time with the Bulldogs has meant a lot to the team.