Golf places 5th in Whitewater

This was the 1st 2018 spring meet for the team

Grayson Lindau, Sports Writer

Even with the weather issues that have been plaguing Wisconsin, the UW Oshkosh women’s golf team was finally able to get out and participate in the UW-Whitewater Spring Fling on Saturday.

Earning fifth out of 13 participating teams can be seen as a success, especially because the team hasn’t been able to practice outside this spring.

With days of bitter cold temperatures followed by a considerable amount of snowfall in a brief period, head coach Liza Ruetten said it has been almost impossible for the team to compete or even practice outdoors.

“This is our last week of our spring season,” Ruetten said. “We have only been able to compete twice, and both events do not count for rankings as they were both only 18 holes versus the 36 needed.”

In this past weekend’s event, the Titans had five of the tournament’s 50 best golfers, highlighted by sophomore Hanna Rebholz’s 19th-place finish, where she finished with a 12-over-par 84. Other top finishers for the women were Dianna Scheibe in 25th, Micayla Richards in 28th, Keara Richards in 34th place and Sophia Mazurek rounding out the UWO golfers in 49th.

Without sufficient weather, the women’s golf team has been forced to miss out or cut short the majority of its competitive opportunities in the spring and have had to look for different approaches to keep the team’s energy and performance at optimal levels.

Junior Ireland Dunne said UWO’s indoor golf simulators has helped provide the team with the practice they need when the weather does not cooperate.

“It has been an extremely difficult season with all the bad weather,” Dunne said. “We don’t necessarily have a ‘large’ team, but with a team of our size and only two golf simulators, we’ve had to make due with what we have. We do different things at practice so it doesn’t feel like we are just hitting golf balls at a black net or at a golf simulator. We’ve been playing different games on the simulators to keep it fun and interesting.”

However, indoor simulators pale in comparison to the feeling of actually teeing up on fresh grass, and because it is simply not the same experience, the team has had to keep a positive attitude toward their current practice situation.

“Hitting in a simulator is extremely different than being out on the course, especially when it comes to the short game,” Dunne said. “So I think it has somewhat affected our performance in some ways, but with the positive mindset that myself and my teammates have had, we are playing pretty well. Not just individually, but as a team as well, considering we’ve only had two days of practice outside all season.”

The spring season is quickly coming to an end, as there is only one competition left on the schedule. The women are hopeful the past few days of warmth and sunshine continue into the weekend for their last chance to hit the course and showcase their skills at the Augustana Viking Invitational in Rock Island, Illinois.

Senior Micayla Richards, who is preparing for the final meet of her collegiate golf career, said she is looking forward to spending the last meet of her career with her teammates and looking to just enjoy the weekend.

“Being the only senior, and this being my final meet of my college career, I am looking forward to spending time with my team and making final memories during our trip,” Richards said. “I always look to make improvements from the previous weekend and better my score, but my sole focus is to have fun.”