For the first time since Sept. 13, the women’s golf team will play a tournament with its entire roster healthy and at its disposal.
Sophomore Erin Harper, the Hoosiers’ top returning player from last season, will finally return to action as IU looks to build some momentum as the fall season comes to a close. The team will travel to the Las Vegas Collegiate Showdown at University of Nevada, Las Vegas this weekend.
After missing more than a month of play, Harper said she has a new outlook on golf and feels good to be back.
“I’m just kind of enjoying being back instead of focusing so much on my score,” Harper said. “I’m just actually happy to be on the golf course again.”
Senior Ana Sanjuan has been one of the team’s leaders while Harper was out. She said she felt the team was more prepared for the upcoming tournament and is confident heading to Las Vegas.
With a two-week break between tournaments, IU Coach Clint Wallman said the team has focused on getting healthy and resting, whic has resulted in the team’s current clean bill of health.
Wallman said having everyone healthy won’t change the team’s mindset heading into its final tournament of the fall season.
“What it does is it frees everyone up knowing we have our best five out there playing,” he said. “They can just go out and play and not have to worry about their score counting, and they can just go out and play the golf course and just do their thing, and there’s no added pressure.”
Last season, IU set a school record when it shot 17 under par as a team at the Las Vegas Collegiate Showdown. Wallman said the team will not worry about breaking records this time around and will focus on its game plan.
Wallman said UNLV has a scoreable course that the team is familiar with and the team will focus on plaing well instead of scoring well.
“Vegas is just a really good way for us to end up the season,” Wallman said. “We’ve been there a lot. I like the golf course, it’s scoreable. Our expectation as a team is to really get into our mindset of being committed to what it is that we are doing. Have a good game plan, be committed to what it is you’re doing and let the chips fall where they may.”
Wallman said a quality final performance this fall will be something the Hoosiers can point to next spring when they pick it up again.
“It kinda bookends the entire year, at least this semester,” he said. “You obviously want to get started and end on a good note. I think it’s an event where you will feel good leaving. Last year we shot 17 under par and set a school record, so people felt pretty good about that. I think it just affords you the opportunity to leave the fall season on a good note, but also know what we need to do so we can improve the coming spring.”
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