IU women’s golf team battled bad weather at final fall tournament

IU women’s golf battled inclement weather as the team finished tied for 11th with a team score of 577(+1) at the rain-shortened Las Vegas Collegiate Showdown on Tuesday at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Bad weather plagued the tournament. The second round was cancelled due to heavy rainfall Monday morning, and the start of the final round was delayed three hours due to fog. The Hoosiers finished 26 strokes behind tournament champion Baylor and five strokes ahead of Big Ten foe Nebraska.

Senior Ana Sanjuan led the Hoosiers with a 141(-3) for the tournament, including a 69(-3) in the first round. She shot the best score for IU in both rounds and tied for 21st in the individual standings.

IU Coach Clint Wallman praised Sanjuan’s senior leadership, work ethic and overall strong play at UNLV. He said her iron play and shots off the tee were great, but her struggles on the greens stopped her from posting a stronger score.

Sanjuan echoed her coach and said her driving was solid, but her short game was not very good.

“I missed a lot of putts, so that’s why my score was not the best it could be,” she said. “But I managed myself really well, and I’m happy about it, and I have some things to work on for the spring.”

Freshman Elisa Pierre shot a 143(-1) for the tournament and shot a career-low 70(-2) in the first round. Sophomore Erin Harper returned to play after sitting out more than a month due to illness with a 145(+1), including an even-par 72 in the final round.

The Hoosiers started out strong in the first round Sunday. They sat in sixth place with a team score of 283(-5), the third-lowest round in school history.

Wallman said the cancellation of play Monday and the three-hour delay Tuesday were factors in the drop-off of the team’s play, but all teams were equally affected, and the team needed to be mentally tough enough to handle that obstacle and move on.

Harper shot her two best rounds of a short season and said she thought she did OK in her return to tournament play.

“The first day, I had first-round jitters again, which I haven’t had in a while because I haven’t played in a while,” Harper said. “But it definitely got better today. I had one mistake that cost me. but other than that. It was pretty good.”

Wallman said the Hoosiers will use the winter break to look at where the team needs to improve and work on those areas.

“You never really get it,” Wallman said. “You just keep working towards the best that you can be, and that’s really got to be at the heart of what we are doing. We will look at all aspects of the game, the roster, everything, and just address the needs that we need to address.”

With the fall season coming to a close, the Hoosiers will not return to action until Feb. 26 when they travel to the Westbrook Spring Invitational in Peoria, Arizona.

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