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

    All ‘fore’ one and one ‘fore’ all

    Butch McCartney

    Women’s golf does not seem like it would involve a lot of controversy, but Eau Claire’s team has had its share.

    With a new coach this year and a group compiled of very different women, the team is trying to leave its past behind. Seniors Katie Hommen, Maureen Montbriand, Kristi Moss and Erika Hiscox have endured some difficult times as part of the team but it all worked out in the end.

    When asked what the biggest frustration in their experience on the team was, most of the women hesitated to answer.

    “We went through a lot with each other, but the positives outweigh the negatives,” Hommen said.

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    Moss shed a bit more light on the subject by explaining that the old coach, Doug Georgianni, left his position last year.

    “Getting a new coach has been beneficial,” she said, adding that this year’s coach, John Rawdon, is doing a good job.

    Beyond the trials of coach switching and personality differences, each woman demonstrates a respect for one another that demands respect in return.

    “I think we’re three completely different people,” Hommen said. “That’s why we all get along. We definitely have our moments, but we have the same goal of playing and playing our best.”

    Montbriand agreed, saying the team is focusing on unity. “At one tournament, we lost that unity, and it hurt us. This spring we’ve focused on getting along,” she said.

    Rawdon also emphasized the team’s unity. “The team works well as a unit and gels as one,” he said. “They’re all each individual in their personality, but they’re all working for the same goal.”

    Individuals they are, and each made a mark on the team because of it. Moss is known as the fun, light-hearted one. Montbriand said Moss is laid-back and she also brings a lot of fun to the team.

    “I try not to take it too seriously on the golf course,” Moss said. “I’m kind of a free spirit, but when I have to be serious, I am.”

    The girls referred to Hommen as the mom of the team. Her teammates agreed that she keeps the team on track and organized.

    “Each time we get in a huddle, everyone says something,” Hommen said. “My saying is usually ‘focus.’ Everyone’s got their own way of playing, but the bottom line (is that we’re) focused on playing our best round.”

    Moss said Montbriand likes to have fun – she’s like the team’s little kid.

    “I try to bring a positive attitude and try to cheer people up,” Montbriand said. “I’m an easygoing person and I try to get along with everyone.”

    Rawdon said Hiscox is cooperative, fun-loving and energetic. “I’ve never heard anything negative come out of her mouth and that says something excellent right there,” he said.

    Her coach’s description fits right in on how Hiscox sees her own role on the team.

    “I’m the listener,” she said. “I’m more distant from the team due to other activities, but I usually hear a lot of what people are thinking and feeling.”

    In addition to respecting one another, the girlswomen

    “He’s our common tie,” Hommen said. “Being an individual sport, we don’t play together. We don’t really see each other until we’re done, so seeing him and talking with him keeps us together.”

    Different as they are, each woman works hard to become better as an individual player in an individual sport while simultaneously concentrating on group spirit and focus.

    “It’s an individual sport,” Rawdon said. “But at this level it’s also a team sport, and without each other the team will go nowhere.”

    Each woman is excited for the possibility of going to nationals this season for the second year in a row, Moss said, adding that they’ve qualified but haven’t been invited yet.

    Golf is certainly the center of attention in these women’s lives, but they interact socially as well. “We like to go out for fun nights,” Montbriand said. “We like to go to movies, hang out, work out and of course play golf outside of golf.”

    The women also spent spring break in Florida. Montbriand said they had a blast.

    All of the women have high hopes for the team after they leave. With only seven women currently on the team and four who are leaving, the coach has done some recruiting of which they are confident.

    Moss hopes the team will continue to be strong and that next year’s team will work as hard as this year’s to reach nationals, she said.

    “They’re phenomenal women,” Rawdon said about the team. “But my job is to recruit, and the goals are the same – to win. I will miss them personally because they’re wonderful, but this is my job.”

    Now that they are nearing the end, the women have planned their future, and it’s mostly centered on golf. Moss and Hommen even plan to make golf their careers.

    Considering their endurance during years of trial, Rawdon has much confidence in the women’s future. “Each and every one of them in their own way will succeed in life,” he said. “I can assure you of that.”

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