“The world needs dreamers and the world needs doers and the world needs dreamers that do,” – quote posted in the women’s golf team’s locker room.
The Wolverines “did” yesterday – shattering the dreams of the competition with a victory on a hot, cloudless day at the Wolverine Invitational. Although the Wolverines’ dreams extend far beyond this tournament, Michigan has now validated its hard work with a glass trophy.
The motivational message coach Kathy Teichert posted encouraged the confidence of her squad after the disappointment of consecutive sub-par tournament appearances this season.
“I think it’s better we started slow,” senior captain Amy Schmucker said. “We can build momentum all season, rather than coming out hot and burning out in the end.”
Schmucker scalded the competition in the first round Saturday morning. She tied the U-M Golf Course record of 68 after her first 18 holes, eventually leading Michigan to the champion’s trophy at its home tournament.
Michigan nearly squandered the 10-stroke lead it carried into Sunday’s final round, but managed to hold on for the victory.
“Ideally, I would have liked to see us win by 20 strokes,” Teichert said. “We slipped a little bit in the final round. We played great on Saturday but gave up a lot of strokes on Sunday. I’m not too happy about letting the other teams get so close when we’re sitting on a lead like that. We need more consistency around the green because it’s the key to victory. These are things to work on, but the bottom line is that we won.”
Sophomore Lindsay Davis came through in the clutch for Michigan, posting a 75 in the final round. Davis held off a storming Southern Methodist University squad that finished 3 strokes behind the Wolverines. Davis’s three-round total of 233 was her best showing this season, and it couldn’t have come at a better time.
With her teammates’ performance falling off in the final round, Davis’s strong outing retained many lost strokes. Michigan edged out Southern Methodist’s team total 905-908A- – a figure that kept Michigan ill at ease until the final scores had been posted by the clubhouse.
“Yesterday (Saturday), I felt like I didn’t play well, so I put pressure on myself to help out the team,” Davis said. “Coach Teichert let me know she needed me to score, but there’s no scoreboard out there to let me know where we stand. I knew I had to perform. The heat made it tough to focus out there, but I managed to hold it together for a pretty solid round.”
As the teams assembled in the pounding heat by the scoreboard outside the clubhouse, it was difficult to resist the urge to head inside to the air-conditioned locker room after play had ended. Davis’ 75 was the best score posted by Michigan on Sunday, but Schmucker’s 54-hole total was good for a second-place medal. Her 222-stroke total was only three behind field leader, Maryland Terrapin Katie Stepanek. With rounds of 68, 75 and 79, Schmucker said she was disappointed by her performance despite tying the course record on Saturday.
“I wish I could have helped a little more on Sunday,” Schmucker said. “I guess that 68 was at the front of my mind all weekend, which didn’t really help my play. I’m glad we came away with the trophy, but I’m going to need to work hard on my game in the next few weeks.”
Although Sunday’s performance was less than ideal, the Wolverines rounded out their team total with very strong scores. With a disappointing 81 on Sunday, junior Ali Stinson’s 227-stroke total was good for a tie for fourth place, and senior Kelly Easton chipped in a career-best 235 despite Sunday’s 81 to round out the Wolverines’ victory.
The Wolverines will have some time to enjoy the victory. They get some well-deserved rest this weekend before heading to Arkansas for the Lady Razorback Invitational in two weeks.
“We can really use this time to work out the problems that have dogged us,” Teichert said. “It’s a great opportunity to work on our short game and consistency. It’s a real luxury to have this extra time. Most importantly, the girls are looking forward to catching up on schoolwork.”