Women’s golf takes second at Titan Classic

Neal Hogden

The UW Oshkosh women’s golf team spent Sept. 9 and 10 in Waverly, Iowa at the Wartburg College Invitational with the Titans placing 11th out of 20 teams. UWO finished with a team score of 75 over-par.

Hannah Braun led the way for the Titans, finishing tied for 10th place out of 120 competitors at nine over-par. Senior Micayla Richards and sophomore Hannah Rebholz also had strong showings, finishing in 14th and 55th place, respectively.

Micayla Richards finished only two strokes back of Braun at 11 over-par, and Rebholz finished with a score of 24 shots over-par. UWO junior Kayla Priebe placed 65th with a score of 26 over-par, junior Ireland Dunne and freshman Keara Richards tied for 75th at 29 shots over-par and sophomore Anna Scheibe in 81st at 32 over-par.

Micayla Richards said the two-day tournament required the team to make adjustments in order to remain successful.

“I try to get myself prepared as much as I can, really focusing on the area I feel I need to be more consistent in during the week before the first day of the tournament,” Richards said. “After the first round, I analyze my game and figure out where I had the most strokes and adjust my goals for the second day.”

The team kicked off its 2017 season at the Oshkosh Country Club Sept. 2 and 3, hosting the UW Oshkosh Titan Classic. The team took 2nd place out of 12 teams, behind the winner of the tournament, UW-Stout.

The Titans were fueled by Braun’s first-place finish. Braun finished nine over-par, good enough to beat the second-place finisher Maggie Warrner from Illinois Wesleyan University by five strokes.

Braun said the opening tournament of the season was an early promising moment for both her and the team to begin the year.

“Last weekend was definitely a fun weekend,” Braun said. “Shooting an 82 for the first round, and then a 73, which is even par, was one of the highlights of my golf career.”

Micayla Richards was also instrumental for the Titans, finishing the weekend tied for 5th place at 22 over-par. Micayla Richards shot an 87 the first day and finished strong with a final round of 81.

Priebe had a solid outing, taking 15th place at 28 over-par, while Scheibe came in 22nd place at 32 over-par. Dunne shot her way to 24th at 33 over-par, and Keara Richards turned in her scorecard with a 34th place finish at 41 over-par.

Other contributing golfers were Rebholz in 39th at 42 over-par and Sophia Mazurek in 42nd at 46 over-par. Freshmen Michelle Lodholz and Claire Hamburg placed in 57th at 60 over-par and 65th place at 83 over-par, respectively.

The meet was postponed to Sept. 9 due to rain but Braun stayed focused on the task at hand.

“I think we all had to mentally prepare ourselves to play 32 holes on Sunday,” Braun said. “But overall, I tried not to think about what hole I was on and how many holes I had left to play. Instead, I just played every hole like it was the last one.”

Head coach Liza Ruetten said even with the unbalanced composition of this year’s team, the youth will be helped along through its emerging senior leader.

“We are definitely a team in transition this year,” Ruetten said. “Micayla Richards, my lone senior, has charged herself with leading the others both on and off the course.”

Micayla Richards spoke about her leadership role on the team and said the team has some goals already set for the season.

“We have a great group of girls on our team, and all have individual goals to work towards,” Richards said. “This year has been about striving to become better at our game and still have fun along the way.”

Ruetten also weighed in on the rest of her youthful squad and said even with early season struggles, the team’s dynamic remains strong.

“Kayla Priebe, our 2016 WIAC player of the year, has been struggling with her short game during our first two events, but I fully expect her to turn it around this upcoming weekend at the Illinois Wesleyan event,” Ruetten said. “She is a fighter and a determined player who has a plan to go lower in the weeks to come.”

Ruetten said the layout of this year’s team, while heavier on the youth, is full of potential.

“I also see a lot of potential in Ireland Dunne, another junior, and the rest of our strong sophomore core and incoming freshman class who are excited to prove that they belong on this young Titan team,” Ruetten said.

The team will continue its 2017 campaign next weekend, Sept. 16 and 17, at the Illinois Wesleyan University Invitational in Normal, Illinois. Although the team made a trip to Ironwood Golf Course last spring, this will be their first trip to the course in fall since 2008.