The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

Women’s golf comes from behind to win tournament

After day one of this weekend’s tournament in Waverly, Iowa, the UW-Eau Claire women’s golf team were trailing first place by four strokes, and junior Emily Swift knew they were going to be playing catch up on the second day.

“It’s hard to go from practice to competition,” Swift said. “Hitting balls and practicing putts inside is nowhere near the same as actual competition.”

She said she thought they were a little unprepared the first day because they have had so little time to practice outside.

Putting on actual grass was a bit of a struggle for some of the Blugolds. It was a factor to some of the high scores, according to Sophomore Catherine Wagner. The team will be more prepared for their next tournaments after being able to practice outside.

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“We didn’t play so well the first day but we came back out on Sunday and grinded back to win the tournament by six strokes,” said Wagner. “You learn a lot playing in 30-plus mph winds, so it makes you think a lot more about what kind of shot you want to hit.”

The Blugolds comeback on the second day allowed them to snatch first place by six strokes over St. Olaf College (Minn.) despite St. Olaf having the top two finishers.

Wagner, the highest finishing Blugold, came in third with 155 strokes with Swift following by one stroke.

Junior Sara Mattes tied for sixth place, at 20 over par, this past weekend, and said she was satisfied with the way she played but is looking forward to improving her consistency and placing. A birdie and two pars countered her disappointment to her first day of play.

“Coming back and getting use to playing on grass is difficult,” Mattes said. “It’s such a different feel.”

Swift said the team really had to pick up their effort to earn the victory.

“We expected to win because we knew we were ranked the highest,” she said, “but going into the second day we knew we had to made up some strokes. Coach Megan told us we really needed to kick it into gear.”

Junior Lauren Gault managed twelfth place, followed by junior Katie Maurer coming in at fifteenth to snag the win for the Blugolds.

The women got more focused and played smarter for the second day of competition, enabling them to shave off 13 strokes in the second round.

This was the first tournament for the Blugolds this spring, but the Blugolds only have three tournaments left until nationals, where they have an automatic qualification.

They hope to keep their placement up and work hard, according to Wagner, in order to have an opportunity to place high at nationals.

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