Competing at the historic Medinah Golf Course in Illinois, the site of various Ryder Cups and PGA Championships, the IU women's golf team finished 10th out of the 15 contending schools Tuesday afternoon.
The team played 36 holes on Monday, followed by 18 more on Tuesday. After IU did not have a tournament last week for the first time since the season began, the team started slower than usual.
The squad was tied for 12th place coming into Tuesday, which was short of what the team aimed for. IU head coach Clint Wallman said the team addressed the shortcoming before finishing the rest of the tournament.
“The team and the coaches met Monday night,” Wallman said. “We agreed that it wasn’t our best effort in terms of our scoring, so what we focused on was to do better in specific areas like our par 5 play, and I was extremely impressed with the way the girls finished.”
All but one golfer for IU ended her final round Tuesday with her lowest score of the tournament. Freshman Anni Eisenhut, despite leading the team on Monday after shooting two over par through two rounds, was the lone player that didn’t.
Eisenhut finished tied for 38th after ending the tournament shooting five over par.
Staying focused on the game plan was key for Eisenhut, who started the first round with three consecutive bogeys. Not getting down on herself, she fought back and ended that same round at an even par, her collegiate best.
“She has what I call the scoring gene,” Wallman said. “Anni’s game is not super flashy, but she gets it done by working really hard on her swing.”
Eisenhut agreed with her head coach, saying that fundamentals were an aspect of her game that she worked on heading into Monday.
“I worked with coach on having more control over my club face,” Eisenhut said, “I was super happy with my rounds and where my game is at in general.”
Being a freshman is tough when competing against golfers that are all older than you, but Eisenhut uses her young age to her advantage.
“I do use the fact that I’m a freshman as a chip on my shoulder,” Eisenhut said. “But at the same time, I learn from [my older teammates] a lot. I can gain experience from them and what they’ve been through.”
Juniors Mary Parsons, Priscilla Schmid, Angela Aung, and sophomore Alexis Miestowski joined Eisenhut on the course. That group of five competed as a team for IU, while senior Elisa Pierre played as an individual.
Despite scoring higher than what they hoped for, Wallman said he believes this team is not going anywhere.
“This is a very self-motivated group,” Wallman said. “They have a lot of pride in what they’re doing and everyone wants to do their part.”
IU’s next test will take place Oct. 25 as the team competes in the Landfall Tradition tournament in Wilmington, North Carolina. That tournament will be the final of the fall season, so Wallman will continue to encourage the team to finish strong.
“Until they introduce tackling into golf, it’s still a single-person sport,” Wallman said. “It’s up to us to take care of our own business. We have to go down there with the same urgency that we showed the last nine holes and I think you’ll see a better result.”
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