Differt places first at Mad Dawg Invite

Josh Woolwine, Sports Writer

Junior Nikki Differt won the individual title at last weekend’s Mad Dawg invitational in Stevens Point with a +22 over two rounds.

Freshman Megan Footit, junior Claire Hamburg and sophomore Mackenzie Retzlaff finished 13th, 18th and 21st with scores of +54, +71 and +77 respectively.

Senior Sophia Mazurek took 12th place with a +49. The golfers were scored as individuals, so there was no team score for the Titans.

Differt said that keeping a strong mental state was key to her victory this weekend.

“One thing I did well this weekend as an individual is to keep calm and stay positive,” Differt said. “When this happens, I usually start off good then it goes downhill. This weekend I tried not to think about any of those things. I would tell myself ‘just go out there and play your game.’”

As the tournament was drawing to a close, Differt decided to focus on her game instead of how well she was placing. The results paid off.

“I tried not to think about anything but my golf game when I’m playing. If I start to think about me being close to first place or making the top five, I will start to play bad,” Differt said. “This weekend when playing, I told myself not to tense up, stress, think about my score and to only focus on my golf game. Not doing or thinking of these things while playing seemed to really help me play well.”

Head coach Liza Ruetten said the Mad Dawg Invitational was a great way to help prepare for the upcoming Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championship.

“It allows for players who might not have competed since our home tournament over Labor Day weekend to travel and compete as Titans,” Ruetten said. “The course was familiar to several of the players on our five-member roster as many have played there in past years or on their own over summer break. This familiarity does ease the nerves, but Stevens Point Country Club is always a challenging layout due to its many doglegs and large, fast greens.”
Ruetten went on to praise Differt for her great performance.

“Differt … played exceptionally well,” Ruetten said. “Her short game and steady focus aided in her win in the 20-player field.”

The team will be competing at the WIAC Championship Oct. 4-6 and will tee off at noon. Friday and 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Reedsburg Country Club.