Golf has its ups and downs. It can have its beautiful drives down the middle of the fairway or its wayward shots deep into the abyss of the rough.
It’s a patient game, and the Michigan women’s golf team stayed the course at the Windy City Classic on Monday and Tuesday in Golf, Illinois. The Wolverines struggled during the first round of play, but eventually finished strong in the second day placing 14th out of 15 teams
In a field full of schools ranked in the Top 25 according to the Women’s Golf Coach’s Association, Michigan coach Jan Dowling knew it was going to be a test of her team’s determination.
“It was a heck of a test for us and a heck of an opportunity,” Dowling said. “We had a solid round (Tuesday) but I think the first round Monday got us into a pretty big hole, so that part was unfortunate but I think it clears up what we need to do moving forward.”
After play ended on Monday, Michigan sat in 15th place with a score of 605 (plus-29). Freshman Hailey Borja led the team in just her second career start as a Wolverine, sitting tied for 23rd going into the second day of play.
Borja tied for 19th place when the dust settled, shooting a 217 (plus-1). Dowling had nothing but praise for the freshman golfer, whose finish gives her two consecutive top-20 finishes early in the season.
“She’s one of the steadiest golfers I’ve been around and I think that will bode well for her moving forward throughout her career,” Dowling said. “She should be pretty thrilled with her top twenty finish but I know she thinks she could do even better.”
Following Borja were sophomores Ashley Lau and Sophia Trombetta, who shot respective scores of 226 (plus-10) and 227 (plus-11). Trombetta had a stellar final round, finishing out with a 71(minus-1), which made her the only Wolverine to hit under par for the tournament.
The results of the Windy City Classic aren’t the only results that matter for the Wolverines, though.
Three players played as individuals at Eastern Michigan University in the Shirley Spork Invitational on Monday and Tuesday. Those three players were freshman Julia Schulz, junior Ashley Kim and freshman Anika Dy, who placed first, fourth and second, respectively.
The next two tournaments for the team will both be in North Carolina as they travel to Chapel Hill to play in the Tar Heel Invitational next week and the Landfall Tradition in Wilmington at the end of the month.
“We had a nice finish to our tournament here in Chicago and we hope to use that as momentum,” Dowling said. “We’ll be back at it again for two more great tournaments coming up that we’re really excited for.”