Indiana women’s golf will travel to Johns Island, South Carolina, for the Briar’s Creek Invitational on Monday and Tuesday. The 18-team field will play 36 holes on Monday and 18 holes on Tuesday.
The Hoosiers are coming off a collective 903, 63 over-par performance at the VyStar Gators Invitational last weekend, placing 14th out of 15 teams.
Indiana coach Emily Kuhfeld said the score wasn’t representative of the Hoosiers’ performance, and she said they have continued to improve as the season goes on.
“We’re getting better, and areas of emphasis are starting to show improvement,” Kuhfeld said. “That was probably the best field we’ll see, and we were competitive and fit in.”
The field of play will present plenty of challenging opponents, including five top-60 teams in the latest Golfstat rankings: No. 11 Michigan, No. 26 Illinois, No. 28 University of Central Florida, No. 47 Campbell University and No. 56 North Carolina State University are among the top teams Indiana will face.
Indiana will have a good look at conference play as well. Alongside Michigan and Illinois, Minnesota, Nebraska, Penn State and Wisconsin will be competing.
The rest of the field consists of the following schools: College of Charleston, Boston College, Charleston Southern University, University of Colorado, East Carolina University, Kansas University, Old Dominion University and Tulane University.
A slow start last weekend prevented the Hoosiers from contending at the top. This week, their key focus will be mental fortitude.
“We really have to stay committed on each hole and keep a good attitude,” Kuhfeld said. “We have to be confident and take care of the little things both on and off the course.”
As for on-course play, Kuhfeld said things are improving but there is plenty more work to do.
“The main focus in practice will be the in-between yardages to set ourselves up for scoring opportunities,” Kuhfeld said. “We have to do a better job taking advantage of those opportunities when they arrive.”
Last weekend, the Hoosiers were led by freshman Aine Donegan, who logged a 217, 7-over par and tied for 22nd overall.
Donegan’s steady play can be expected again, but the rest of the lineup’s play will be something to look for this week. The team as a whole has been inconsistent, so a total team effort could push Indiana over the hump and set it up for title contention.
Indiana will play with the same lineup as last weekend with Donegan, seniors Mary Parsons and Alexis Miestowski, junior Valerie Clancy and freshman Margaret Fernandez, expected to start again barring any unforeseen circumstances.
Play will begin in shotgun format with all teams and pairings teeing off simultaneously from their assigned hole. Pairs will tee off at 9 a.m.