IU Coach Clint Wallman has talked with his team about the three most important words in golf: “What’s my target?”
Their target right now? A potential trip to the NCAA Tournament.
First, however, they must focus on what is at hand this weekend, the Lady Buckeye Invitational in Columbus, Ohio. Wallman has said his team can’t be looking too far forward heading into this weekend.
“Like they say in every sport, take care of your business and things will work out,” Wallman said. “We have a good opportunity this week, we have the Big Ten Tournament next week, and if we go play and keep ourselves in the same frame of mind that we’ve been in, I think postseason will take care of itself.”
The Hoosiers are coming off a second place finish at Briar’s Creek Invitational on March 21 and 22, but haven’t played competitively since.
“The fact that we haven’t competed for a couple weeks may not be a bad thing because it gives the girls a chance to get caught up on school and position themselves academically for the next two weeks, which are very busy for us,” Wallman said.
As for a player’s perspective, Pear Siriko is keeping to her routine on the golf course with the long break.
“For my practice routine, I work on my swing and my mental routine in the tournament,” Siriko said. “For my short game, I chip and putt from 3 to 5 feet to see the ball go in the hole.”
Siriko is one of the many players Wallman said is capable of consistently shooting under par and said the depth is a big part of their success.
“The beauty of this team is the depth,” Wallman said. “We’ve had every person on the roster throw in under-par rounds. Every person has contributed and when you have that type of balance, it frees everyone up to play.”
Coming into this weekend’s tournament in Columbus, the Hoosiers don’t need to really do anything special, Wallman said.
“This week at Ohio State is going to put a real premium on making sure we hit greens and a lot on bunker work and short putting, which is what this golf course calls for,” Wallman said. “The main work that we’ve really been doing has been mental and getting ourselves in the right frame of mind to succeed and have a singular focus.”
As for Siriko, she will be looking to rebound from last year’s performance at this same event in which she tied for 39th.
“I played last year when I was a freshman,” Siriko said. “I didn’t play well last year because of my first tee shot, so this year I’m going to work on my tee shot and my bunker shots so I have my confidence on my second shot.”
Heading into the weekend, there are many things that could get in the way, but Wallman said it’s a shot-by-shot approach he is instilling in the players.
“It would be very easy to get distracted with many things, but the real thing is we have to get ready for Ohio State,” Wallman said.