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Confidence is key as IU prepares for Big Ten tournament



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Senior Ana Sanjuan tees off during the first round of the IU Invitational at IU Golf Course. Sanjuan and the Hoosiers will compete in the Big Ten Championships this weekend. Josh Eastern Buy Photos

A book titled “Golf Is a Game of Confidence” sits in a cabinet in IU Coach Clint Wallman’s office. It could get some use this weekend as Wallman said he wants IU to be prepared and confident heading into the Big Ten Women’s Golf Championship at TPC River’s Bend.

IU will open postseason play when the conference championship starts Friday in Cincinnati, Ohio. The three-round tournament will be played through three days, with one round being played each day starting Friday and ending Sunday.

The tournament allows six golfers to compete per school, with the best four scores from each round counting to the team score. Sophomore Erin Harper, senior Ana Sanjuan, freshman Carolina Garrett, junior Alix Kong, senior Theresa-Ann Jedra and freshman Elisa Pierre will compete for IU.

After the team finished in eighth place at the Lady Buckeye Invitational last weekend, Harper said the team needed to play with more individual confidence to be successful in the future.

Harper, who finished in third place individually at Ohio State, said she struggled with her confidence during the final round of the tournament and that was her main focus in preparing for the Big Ten tournament.

“The last day at OSU I didn’t really manage myself well, I didn’t manage my emotions well and everything so I’m just trying to work on that a little bit,” Harper said. “Like, I’ve talked to a sports psychologist and everything and I’m practicing my mental game for Big Tens more than really my actual swing because I know my swing will be there.”

After playing on a Jack Nicklaus-designed course at Ohio State last weekend, Wallman said IU will be a bit more prepared for the TPC River’s Bend course, which is also a Nicklaus design.

Wallman said his goal for the team was to play shot-by-shot and only focus on the task at hand.

“You’re going through the process and you’re dealt three or four situations on hole one and three or four situations on hole two and hole three,” Wallman said. “You just need to deal with each of these situations as best as you can individually on its own and if you do that, then you stand a much better chance of being successful when you sign the card at the end of the day.”

Sanjuan said she hasn’t been too confident in her game recently but also said she isn’t going to worry about how well she plays as this is potentially her last tournament as a Hoosier.

“I know that it’s either we win or for me it’s going to be over so I’m just going to enjoy these three rounds,” Sanjuan said. “I don’t care how I’m gonna play, I just want to enjoy playing for IU for the last time.”

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