After a three-and-a-half month break from competitive play, the IU women’s golf team returned to action Sunday in Puerto Rico.
In a competitive 15-team tournament, the Hoosiers finished tied for 12th after the final round Tuesday. Freshman Anni Eisenhut led the way as she finished sixth overall at five under par. She improved every day, recording scores of 72, 70 and 69.
She said that since she knew the first tournament of the season was not going to be perfect, she had to come in with a plan. Eisenhut said she tried to focus on one shot at a time while keeping a calm and relaxed demeanor for all 54 holes.
“I wanted to have fun,” Eisenhut said. “If I didn’t hit a green, I just told myself to grind it out with a positive attitude.”
That mindset paved the way for the best finish of her young career. But even with strong play by the freshman, IU struggled as a whole.
Entering the second round, the Hoosiers were in last place at 23 over par. Head coach Clint Wallman attributed the high numbers to making already difficult holes on the course even harder.
“In that first round, we made four triple-bogeys, two doubles and one quad,” Wallman said. “We played OK, but we got in trouble on the holes that we just needed to power through.”
Despite an underwhelming first 18 holes, the Hoosiers recovered as the tournament progressed. The team improved each of the next two rounds, shooting 12-over and 8-over on Monday and Tuesday.
“Overall, I’m proud of how the girls rebounded,” Wallman said. “That’s three freshmen and one sophomore in the lineup. To see them look sharper each round is definitely encouraging.”
Missing from the lineup was junior Priscilla Schmid. She ended her fall season as the champion of the Landfall Tradition, but is dealing with injuries she suffered over the winter.
“We’re trying to get her healthy,” Wallman said. “But at the end of the day, we have to have other people step up and showcase the depth that we have.”
The Hoosiers have no competition this weekend, but they will return to action Feb. 23 at the Westbrook Invitational in Peoria, Arizona.
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