IU women’s golf had momentum from its first team win of the season coming into this weekend’s tournament at Ohio State, but couldn’t quite keep it going throughout the weekend.
Behind another top-5 finish from sophomore Erin Harper, the Hoosiers finished eighth with a team score of 930(+66) in Columbus, Ohio, on Sunday. IU was one of eight Big Ten teams in the 12-team field, and IU only finished ahead of two conference foes, Rutgers and Minnesota.
With the Big Ten Conference Tournament next on the schedule for the Hoosiers, IU Coach Clint Wallman said the toughness of the Ohio State course was a good challenge to prepare his team.
“I think obviously we didn’t get the result that we wanted but the conditions were really challenging, the golf course played ridiculously hard today and I think you saw that in the scores,” Wallman said.
IU was consistent on the first day of the tournament and shot a 304(+16) in each of the two rounds played Saturday to sit in eighth place after 36 holes.
Wallman said strong winds Sunday made the course much more challenging, and it showed on the scorecard for the Hoosiers as they closed out the tournament with a 322(+34) in the final round.
Harper led the way for the Hoosiers and finished third with a three-round score of 220(+4). Harper played her best golf on the first day when she shot a 71(-1) in the first round and finished the day with a 70(-2) for her best round of the tournament. Harper closed out the tournament with a 79(+7) in the final round.
Harper said she felt very confident in her game in the first two rounds Saturday but struggled with the wind Sunday like the rest of her teammates.
“The wind made the greens very unapproachable today,” Harper said. “I wasn’t able to get up and down from where I left myself but near the end I was able to manage myself better and got a string of pars to end the round.”
Senior Ana Sanjuan finished tied for 27th in the individual standings and shot a 232(+16) for the weekend. Sanjuan shot her best round in the first round when she opened the tournament with a 75(+3).
Wallman said Sanjuan played a strong tournament on a difficult golf course and added that he thinks she will be set and ready to go when the Big Ten tournament starts Friday.
Junior Alix Kong took a step back after winning her last tournament, the IU Invitational, as she finished tied for 54th with a score of 242(+26). Kong’s best score was a 7-over-par 79 in the second round.
Senior Theresa-Ann Jedra and freshman Emma Fisher struggled after strong performances last weekend. Jedra finished tied for 61st with a score of 245(+29) while Fisher finished tied for 66th with a 247(+31).
Wallman said the Hoosiers struggled in the short game and with converting putts on the greens. However, Wallman said he still feels good about the team and the way they are playing competitively heading into the Big Ten Tournament, which will take place in Maineville, Ohio.
“The Big Tens is rebound season,” Wallman said. “Anything could happen. I think if we get rolling, we will definitely be in the mix.”
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