IU women’s golf managed to battle through injuries in the fall season.
Despite being unable to have its five top golfers on the course together in the fall, the team managed to earn a top-10 finish in all four tournaments.
With the spring season came health and hope for continued success following a rough fall season.
Coming off their seventh consecutive top-10 finish — their third of the spring — the Hoosiers will head to Sunrise, South Carolina, for the Clemson Invitational this weekend.
IU will be coming off of the Hawkeye El Tigre Invitational in Mexico over spring break, where the team placed sixth and, due to the break, was able to have the entire roster in action.
“Getting tournament experience, getting people there, getting them playing in the same conditions, it was enormously helpful to sort things out for us as coaches as we head to the last third of our season,” IU Coach Clint Wallman said. “It was just a really great event and a great experience for the girls.”
The Hoosiers came out with a tough first round, shooting a score of 305, placing them at the bottom of the field.
However, behind a second-round score of 294 and a third-round score of 300, IU was able to climb back into the top-10.
“It’s like any other sport," Wallman said. "Sometimes you just throw two interceptions in the first two series. We didn’t play well, but on the flip side, I was so proud of them for buckling down, grinding it out and making a respectable tournament out of it after a disastrous start.”
For Wallman, the success this season has been much more than the fundamentals of the sport.
“This team has a lot of heart and a lot of character,” he said.
Sophomore Elisa Pierre has been a large part of IU’s success in the second half of the season.
After just one top-20 finish in the fall season, Pierre has had two consecutive such finishes in the spring.
“She’s starting to understand her game and how to play, and that’s just a tribute to the learning process,” Wallman said. "She’s a very good player, and you’re going to continue to see her grow and get better.”
IU’s top golfer, freshman Mary Parsons, has given the team two top-10 finishes this season. Parsons was not her usual self in Mexico, where she placed in a tie for 29th.
This was the first time Parsons placed outside the top-20 since her first collegiate tournament in September.
With the help of Pierre and fellow freshman Priscilla Schmid who finished in a tie for 15th, IU was able to work around Parsons' struggles.
“Of last week’s starting five, any of them can shoot under par,” Wallman said. “As the season has progressed, we haven’t quite had a round yet where everyone is playing really well, and that’s a good thing.”
Play at the Clemson Invitational is scheduled to begin Friday and go through Sunday.