The UW Oshkosh golf team started off its 2018 campaign with a pair of respectable finishes in meets featuring some Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference opponents.
After finishing in third place in the WIAC last year, the Titans will look to compete for a conference championship and a Division III tournament bid.
Wartburg College Invitational
The Titans traveled to Waverly, Iowa, to participate in the Wartburg College Invitational this past weekend where they battled to a third place finish with a team score of 618.
The weekend was a record-setting one as the Titans posted their lowest two-day team score in school history.
Junior golfer Hannah Braun led the Titans in scoring, posting scores of 75 during both of her rounds of the tournament, good for a seventh-place finish.
Freshman Erika Priebe also played a factor in the Titans’ third-place team finish as she turned in a 154, only seven shots off the lead.
Erika attributed her and her fellow freshmen’s success to their teammates for helping her get acclimated to college golf.
“[Our teammates] have helped us learn our home course and given us lots of tips,” Erika said. “They have helped me feel comfortable competing at the college level and have been very welcoming. It has also helped that my sister, Kayla, is a senior this year, so that makes it very fun as well.”
Senior leader Kayla Priebe said having a deep lineup will make for an exciting season.
“I think our depth this season is a big factor in pushing each individual to be their best, which ultimately betters our team as a whole,” Kayla said. “This past weekend setting a school record at Wartburg is just one example of what our team will be capable of this season.”
Margherite Pettenuzzo, another freshman golfer, shot a 157 during the two-day event to put herself in 21st place.
Carleton College and Grinnell College finished first and second, respectively.
The Titan Classic served as the season opener for the UWO golf team as the team went on to dominate the meet, winning by 19 strokes over defending champion, UW-Stout.
Braun defended her Titan Classic title with another first place finish as she posted a score of 77 in both of her rounds.
Kayla Priebe finished in second place, only two strokes behind Braun and detailed the way a golfer’s game can change from day to day.
“I came out strong the first day,” Kayla said. “Sometimes you have days where everything just clicks, and that was one of them for me. The second day was harder for me, but those days happen too. I knew I had to keep pushing until the very end to stay strong for my team, and coming out with a team win made that all worth it.”
Kayla is hoping to follow up a strong junior season by leading the team to a WIAC title.
“Each year I am looking to improve my game, and that is no different coming into my final season,” Kayla said. “The amount of time and effort spent practicing during the summer off-season plays a big role in success during our fall season, so I really challenged myself to spend more time practicing this summer.”
Head coach Liza Ruetten said she knows her golfers will do well on their home course simply because they’re more familiar with it.
“The [golfers] on the team know our home course very well,” Ruetten said. “This course knowledge and familiarity is key in developing a game plan for victory.”
The team will take its talents to Lake City, Minnesota this weekend for the D-III Classic.