The Michigan women’s golf team took seventh as a team this week at the Hurricane Invitational in Miami in its second match of the spring season. The Wolverines’ three-day (Monday through Wednesday) score of 867 was good enough to finish better than three different teams — Louisville, Purdue, and Texas Tech — who were all ranked higher than Michigan nationally.
The finish shows the Wolverines’ improvement, and has head coach Jan Dowling feeling optimistic about the rest of the season.
“I think overall the team should be very pleased with our progress,” Dowling said. “We’re definitely on the right track, and we’re very encouraged with our results this week.”
Sophomore Emily White had the lowest three-day score (216) for the Wolverines, placing her in a tie for 20th individually in the tournament.
White also had six birdies on Tuesday, which helped her shoot 67, the lowest score of her career.
The tournament was White’s first of the spring season, but the sophomore from Saline, Mich., was named the Big Ten Golfer of the Week on Oct. 14 during the fall season, so the potential for White is there.
“Emily (White) had a really impressive week,” Dowling said. “Her first round wasn’t quite what she wanted, but she made some really mature adjustments to her game. (I’m) very impressed with her and her ability to get under par and stay there.”
Though the tournament was a sign of overall improvement for Michigan, the team still has more room to get better during the rest of the year.
The Wolverines finished behind five ranked teams as well as unranked South Florida, but Dowling knows what they have to fix to reach their ultimate potential.
“What we need to work on is just converting with our scoring clubs, or our short clubs around the green, and sharpening up our putting a little bit,” Dowling said. “So we’re going to work on that the next couple of days.”
Rather than coming back to Ann Arbor now, Michigan will stay in Florida for the rest of Spring Break before a trip to Tucson, Ariz., for the Arizona Wildcat Invitational March 14.
“We’ve got an excellent opportunity to be playing and practicing,” Dowling said. “We’re playing three excellent golf courses down in Florida, and we’re going to take advantage of that opportunity.”
This extra practice time could prove vital for the Wolverines, who look to continue to improve all the way up until the Big Ten Championships in late April.