golf

Parsons nails a par 4 eagle as IU women’s golf defeats Iowa in match play



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Members of the IU women's golf team pose for a photo Sept. 13 at the Pfau Golf Course. IU defeated Iowa 4-1 in the East-West Match Play Challenge on Tuesday. Photo courtesy of IU Athletics Buy Photos

In a weekend that had less action than expected due to Sunday’s rain in Madison, Wisconsin, IU junior golfer Mary Parsons said she will always remember what happened the day after.

After a drive on hole 16 that landed 125 yards short of the pin and bordered nearby trees, Parsons attempted to roll the ball up as close to the green as possible.

“When I hit it, I thought, ‘that should be just fine.'” Parsons said. “Then, I thought to myself, ‘wow that’s going right at the pin,’ and it kept tracking and eventually dropped. It was definitely an adrenaline rush.”

As soon as the ball disappeared for an eagle, she was greeted with cheers from opposing golfers and IU coach Clint Wallman, who assisted Parsons with the approach. Even knowing the high golf IQ that Parsons possesses, Wallman said he was not expecting to witness what transpired.

“It was one of the best shots I’ve ever seen in college golf,” Wallman said. “She executed the shot perfectly, and it got on a good line and rolled right in the hole.”

Parsons would end up winning her individual matchup Tuesday as IU went on to defeat Iowa 4-1 in the East-West Match Play Challenge. Joining her in the IU victory circle were freshman Anni Eisenhut, sophomore Alexis Miestowski, junior Priscilla Schmid and senior Elisa Pierre.

Since Sunday was completely rained out, qualifying stroke play shifted over to Monday, which meant that two rounds of match play were condensed into one. The Hoosiers finished tied for fourth out of eight schools during Monday’s stroke play, so they were paired with the Hawkeyes on Tuesday. Despite the rain, Wallman made sure that his players were ready to go.

“Well last year, we lost at least one round every weekend due to weather from March on, so we’re no strangers to it,” Wallman said. “It was nice that they got to rest a little bit. It was a long drive, with 36 holes followed by 18, so the extra day didn’t hurt.”

Parsons said the delay did not affect her mentality as a competitor.

“We have a mindset to get out of the gate strong,” Parsons said. “For us, we just had to push it back a day.”

Joining the team for her first tournament this season was Pierre. Despite two rounds of stroke play that she said she would rather forget, Pierre stuck with it and defeated her opponent in match play to help the Hoosiers secure the victory.

“I was really proud of Elise with her ability to come back today and treat today as a brand new day,” Wallman said. “Yesterday was just one of those days and she had a tough draw today, but she played well and won her match.”

That rebound mentality has become a theme so far in the 2019-20 season. Miestowski wasn't at full strength as well, but she said she battled through it as she posted an even par in stroke play.

Missing from the scorecard was freshman Valerie Clancy, who was a late scratch from individual play due to a neck injury. The timing could not have been worse as she just placed first at Ball State last weekend. Junior Angela Aung competed in stroke play and finished 42nd as an individual.

Despite seeing flashes of great golf, Wallman said he believes the team has some improvements that are necessary to take the program up a notch.

“The biggest thing for us is getting an accountable fourth score and fifth score,” Wallman said. “If we can get a 75 day in and day out from our fourth scorer, that would be a big thing for us going forward.”

The Hoosiers will have to wait to prove that as no tournament is scheduled for next weekend. However, the team will be back in action Oct. 7 in Medinah, Illinois, as they take part in the Illini Women’s Invitational. Also that weekend, the team will send a trio of golfers to Indianapolis to compete in the Butler Fall Invitational.

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