Golf gets ball rolling with a win

Cory Sparks, Sports Editor

Courtesy of the UWO athletics page
Priebe shot the lowest round of the team last year with a 71, and this year both Footit and Differt have the team’s lowest round with an 87 (+15) in the Marian University Invitational on Saturday.

The UW Oshkosh women’s golf team came in first out of seven teams at the Marian University Invitational with a score of 359 (71 over par) on April 10 at Whispering Springs Golf Club.

UWO was led by sophomore Megan Footit and senior Nikki Differt, who both shot a nine-over round of 81, and their team score of 359 was just enough to edge out Lake Forest College at 360 strokes.

The team was pleased with their performance, but after winning the meet, they were immediately looking ahead at how they can better themselves throughout the remainder of the season.

“I am happy with our performance this weekend, but there is definitely some room for improvement,” Footit said. “I know that every single one of us can pick out a couple of shots here and there that we would like to have back, but that’s golf.”

This spring season has presented some cold, windy weather so far for the golf team, and the lack of outdoor play availability during the winter months hasn’t helped the scores during the early rounds of this season.

The only player to not shoot over par was Lake Forest College’s Chloe Morrissey, who shot an even par 72, or nine strokes better than the next two golfers.

Out of the eight players on the UWO team’s roster, half of them are underclassmen. These underclassmen are sophomore Lauryn Davis, freshman Ava Downie, Footit and freshman Gwyn Golembiewski.

Sophomore Lauryn Davis believes that a win this early in the season, especially following the complicated circumstances presented by the pandemic — forcing an 18-month hiatus upon Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) golf competition — gives the team a ton of self confidence going forward.

“I believe the team can use this win as motivation to work that much harder at practice to hopefully have more great outcomes we can be proud of,” she said.

Footit leads UWO with an average score of 89 so far this season, and she is followed by junior Margherite Pettenuzzo, who averages a score of 93 so far.

Footit acknowledges that poor shots and mistakes are bound to happen, but how one reacts and rebounds from those mistakes is ultimately what determines their round score and ability as golfers.

“The important part is how you recover from those bad shots and holes, which I think our team did a good job of doing this weekend,” Footit said. “Golf is a very mental game, so it is important to believe in yourself and your teammates and have confidence as you play.”

UWO will compete in the UW-Whitewater Invitational on Friday and Saturday at the Riverside Golf Course in Janesville with tee times at 2:30 p.m. on day one and 9:30 a.m. on day two.

Footit sees this youth-filled team as one that has the ability to do some serious damage in the WIAC championship this year.

“We are a pretty young team, and I believe this win helps us see the potential we have to continue to win tournaments to come,” Footit said.

Regardless of how the team does for the remainder of the season, they are still very thankful to be back on the course after such a long break from competitive play.

“No matter what this season’s statistics end up being, I think everyone is just thankful and excited to be out on the golf course competing again,” Davis said.