Hannah Braun wins WIAC Championship, team takes third

Neal Hogden, Managing Editor

The UW Oshkosh women’s golf team took third as a team, and UWO junior Hannah Braun won the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championship over the weekend.

Braun needed a tournament-high 74 to secure the victory as she trailed by four strokes heading into the final round. That 74 was the ninth-highest score ever posted in WIAC championship history.

Braun finished the tournament one shot ahead of UW-Whitewater golfer Ashley Hofmeister during the three-day event.

Braun said her strategy was to block out other competitors and focus on what she can do to help the team.

“Going into Reedsburg I knew the competition was tough and what we were going against,” Braun said. “I decided to just play the best golf I could for our team to do the best we could. I took the course day-by-day and didn’t worry about scores or where I was placed. I let my game take care of itself, and everything fell into place.”

Head coach Liza Ruetten gave props to Braun for sticking to her game plan.

“It was a well-deserved victory for her,” Ruetten said. “She is extremely focused during her pre-shot routine and rarely varies from her game plan for every course she plays.”

The team went on to take third place out of eight teams with UW-Stout in second and UW-Whitewater taking home first place.

Senior Kayla Priebe, playing in her final WIAC championship, came home in sixth place shooting a 236 during the tournament.

Kayla also earned the WIAC Judy Kruckman Women’s Golf Scholar-Athlete Award for the 2018 season.

Kayla said she was happy with the way she played over the weekend and said the field has gotten more and more competitive as her career has gone on.

“I am very proud of my sixth-place finish this weekend,” Kayla said. “Although that is my worst place finish at the conference tournament over my four years, it is one of my best scores, which just shows how strong and competitive our conference has become in only a few short years.”

Not far behind Kayla was her sister, Erika Priebe, with a score of 238, good enough for seventh place.

The top-five Titan finishers were rounded out by freshman Margherite Pettenuzzo in 26th place and junior Dianna Scheibe in 37th place.

Ruetten said she thought the team was as prepared as could be as they entered sloppy ground conditions.

“This team has great chemistry and went into the championship with a fantastic game plan,” Ruetten said. “The weather is something that we can’t control, and it proved to be a formidable additional opponent this past weekend.”

The Titans will enjoy a break over winter as they prepare for their spring season. Kayla said although it is nice to have a break, the team can also enjoy some time off and work on its game through the off-season.

“During the off season, I think it is important to take a break, spend more time with family and friends, and focus on academics,” Kayla said. “However, it is also important to continue focusing on golf as we look forward to spring season. We can always hit golf balls inside to continue working on our swings throughout the winter. One of our juniors, Sophia Mazurek, has also organized optional team workouts to help us become physically stronger and healthier.”