The run ended earlier than it was supposed to for the IU women’s golf team Saturday.
The team had said since the start of the season that it wanted to get to Athens, Ga. and compete for a national championship. That didn’t pan out, as the team finished 18th in the NCAA Central Regional Saturday in Norman, Okla. with a final tally of 911 over 54 holes at the Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club.
“Any time you play in postseason, it’s a great accomplishment,” IU Coach Clint Wallman said in a video at the tournament on IUHoosiers.com. “We didn’t advance. We didn’t do what we set out to do, but definitely put in a good foundation for play.”
Sophomore Elizabeth Tong tied for 26th, shooting a 220, including a two-under-par 70 on Thursday. She shot two-over on Friday and four-over on Saturday. Her 220 is four-over for the 54 holes. Tong was IU’s top finisher.
Freshman Marissa DeCola tied for 82nd with a 230, and was IU’s next best finisher. Her best round also came Thursday, when she shot a 75.
“That bodes well for the future of IU golf,” Wallman said. “We’re excited about the direction the program is going.”
After Thursday, IU was in seventh place. The top eight teams in the regional would advance. It looked as if the Hoosiers had set themselves up for that opportunity.
Led by Tong’s 70, which tied her for ninth individually at the time, the Hoosiers’ four scorers finished with a total of 292. Seniors Kristen Schelling and Rosie Davies shot 73 and 74 that day.
Tong recorded just one bogey during the round against three birdies. Schelling sat at one-under before bogeying two of her three final holes. After DeCola bogeyed her first three holes, she shot one-under on the back nine.
“We had great play in the lineup top to bottom,” Wallman said in a video posted Thursday. “I thought that the girls kept themselves together mentally really well.”
Following that, Wallman said weather started to be an issue Friday. On top of weather issues, he said his team simply didn’t play as well.
“I just don’t think we executed nearly as well as we did yesterday,” Wallman said in a video Friday. “Yesterday we were very clean, very good around the greens. Today just a little bit looser.”
The Hoosiers shot a 309 Friday, setting them back to 15th overall.
Tong finished with three birdies offset by three bogeys, but her double bogey made the difference, as she finished with a 74 to once again lead the Hoosiers.
Saturday the team slipped once again, scoring a 310.
Senior Kate Coons shot a 77 Saturday, her best performance of the tournament, scoring for the Hoosiers. It was IU’s second best performance of the day behind Tong’s 76.
Coons finished the tournament 114th overall.
Next year, IU will have to find replacements for Schelling, Coons and Davies. But Wallman is looking forward to the future with Tong and DeCola.
“We thank our seniors for all that they did,” Wallman said. “We look forward to tuning in next fall.”