IU women’s golf has managed a top-10 finish at every regular season tournament this season.
During Coach Clint Wallman’s 14-year tenure at IU, the Hoosiers had never accomplished this feat until this season.
However, with Big Ten Championships this weekend, IU is hitting the reset button.
“Our regular season is done, this is a three round season in itself,” Wallman said. “Hopefully it’ll be a good season for us.”
The results of this season are in the past for the Hoosiers as the team will look to make a run at the conference title.
IU will go into the tournament in Maineville, Ohio, with seven Big Ten titles. That ranks behind only Ohio State, which has 14.
However, the Hoosiers have not won a championship since 1998. IU has only had three top-three finishes since that year.
Wallman has hopes this year’s roster will bring better results.
“They’re very talented,” Wallman said. “They’re in the process of figuring out how to improve and do the little things that take us from the top-third to the upper echelon. I’m very excited for this week.”
IU will enter the tournament this season with freshmen leading the way.
Two of IU’s top three golfers this season have been freshmen Mary Parsons and Priscilla Schmid.
At last weekend’s Lady Buckeye Invitational in Columbus, Ohio, Parsons and Schmid struggled for the Hoosiers. Schmid finished in a tie for 61st while Parsons needed an impressive final round to crack the top-20.
“You can count on them day in and day out,” Wallman said. “Occasionally they’re going to have a bad round.”
Top-15 finishes for sophomore Elisa Pierre and junior Erin Harper helped propel IU to a sixth place finish while also showing the depth of the roster.
The upperclassmen on the team know what the Big Ten Championships are like, and they know what it takes.
The key for the team this weekend will be to avoid having one bad hole transfer to another bad hole. It will be a matter of taking it one hole at a time.
“You have to have a lot of discipline when it comes to not getting ahead of yourself,” Wallman said. “This team does a good job of identifying the situations. They’re smart in terms of how they approach the golf course and staying patient.”
The Lady Buckeye Invitational from last weekend will also help IU as the courses are both Jack Nicklaus-designed.
“That’s why we play Ohio State, it’s such a good prep for the Big Ten Conference,” Wallman said. “We’ve had a lot of practice on that style of golf course.”
The three rounds will stretch over three days of playing beginning at 8:30 a.m. Friday.
No. 11 Michigan State won the tournament last year and will come in as the second-highest ranked team nationally behind only No. 10 Northwestern.