Controlling the golf ball was the theme of this week’s tournament for Emily White.

The senior headlined the Michigan women’s golf team at the Moon Golf Invitational with the team’s highest score, tying for 28th place. The wind was howling throughout the third round, but White’s control allowed her to move up seven spots after that round of play.

“She made a lot of birdies this week and controlled her golf ball really well,” said Michigan coach Jan Dowling. “She came out pretty strong to start the spring and she was ready to go.”

White’s performance was an outlier, though, as the rest of the team struggled through its first competition of the spring season with a 10th place finish out of 13 teams. The team hadn’t competed since the end of October, so there was quite a bit of dust to knock off in the first round Monday as the team scored 312, its worst score of the season.

But the team adjusted to the course in Monday’s second round and scored 298 with a large improvement in the quality of play and ball control. The Wolverines finished the first day in 11th place, with sophomore Hannah Ghelfi tied for 21st individually.  

“We dug ourselves into a pretty big hole after the first round, it certainly wasn’t our best golf,” Dowling said. “We played two solid team rounds in round two and round three. In round two we made some nice adjustments … so that was good.”

A solid showing in Tuesday’s final round moved Michigan up one spot to 10th place overall.

The Wolverines’ two individual golfers, Ghelfi and sophomore Alisa Snyder, were consistent throughout the three rounds. Ghelfi scored a career-best 73 in Monday’s second round, and Snyder finished in a tie for 48th with scores of 78, 76, and 77. Their scores did not count for the team score, but the performances may lead Ghelfi and Snyder to a spot in the starting lineup.

“There’s a lot of pieces that go into picking the lineup, including past play,” Dowling said. “The good thing about our team is that we’ve got some depth, and we’ve got some things to figure out as far as who’s going to be in the starting lineup moving forwards.”

Resilience was a highlight for Michigan during the competition after a challenging first round. Each golfer improved upon her first-round score in the second or third rounds, an encouraging sight for Dowling as the spring season begins.

The positive takeaways from the spring’s first competition show early signs of a solid campaign for the Wolverines, but they will need to continue to work on losing the cobwebs before the team can be where it wants to be.

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