Just over a week ago, the Michigan women’s golf team was looking for a strong finish heading into the Big Ten Championships, but fell short of recording a late-season rally.
Michigan finished 10th of the 12 teams competing at the Notre Dame Clover Cup in Mesa, Ariz. After starting with an 11th-place finish after day one, the Wolverines made a small move into 10th at the end of day two, but failed to improve through the final round Sunday. Most surprising was the team’s performance through the first 18 holes, as playing conditions were a non-factor.
“(The weather) was absolutely perfect the first round,” said Michigan coach Cheryl Stacy. “(We) just didn’t play well.”
Individually, sophomore Alyssa Shimel led the way once again, as she did in the Wolverines’ previous tournament in Miami. Shimel placed 30th along with freshman Linda Lou, followed by fellow sophomore Yugene Lee, who placed 37th. In Arizona, weather isn’t typically something to worry about, but that was not the case this weekend.
The team’s scores dropped slightly with the windy conditions on day two, which proved no match for what the final round had in store. On day three, Michigan encountered more wind, rain, and even a stoppage in play due to hail, which caused the greens to be covered. Though it might have felt like playing in typical Ann Arbor weather, the conditions did not help Michigan’s hopes of making their way up the leaderboard.
Stacy mentioned that “(the team) is normally pretty good in bad weather,” as the Wolverines are accustomed to putting on their rain gear. Now, Michigan has little room for error, as only one event remains before the Big Tens (April 27-29). With this in mind, Stacy must find a way to get the team to improve after faltering this weekend. Having more time back in Michigan may be what is needed.
“(Players) will be able to practice and work on their games,” Stacy said. “They need time for themselves and not be worried about traveling.”
Whether it be constant traveling or unexpected hail, these are factors the Wolverines must be able to play through. They didn’t do that this weekend, but they will have future opportunities to do so, as they get ready to head to Florida for the Knights & Pirates Invitational (April 9-10). The team’s confidence is being shaken, especially without at least one or two individuals posting good scores.
“(We) normally have a couple players play well,” Stacy said.