Campaign culminates with last place finish
The Rutgers women's golf team ended its spring season this weekend in a disappointing fashion. The Scarlet Knights finished last in a field of seven teams at the Big East Championship in Dade City, Fla. The Knights finished with a total score of 996, well off winner Louisville's score of 876.
Prior to the tournament, Rutgers head coach Maura Waters Ballard set her goal as a top four finish. However, she acknowledged it would be difficult to attain. She recognized the high level of competition in the Big East would be difficult to overcome.
"We could have played a bit better, but I'm not that disappointed with the performance," Ballard said. "It was a very challenging field."
The two top-50 teams, Louisville and Notre Dame, put up characteristically strong performances finishing first and second, respectively. South Florida, the No. 73 team in the nation, disappointed, finishing fifth.
Sophomore captain Jeanne Waters continued to lead the Scarlet Knights with her consistent play, scoring 79, 80 and 78 for her three rounds. Her total of 237 was the 26th best individual performance of the weekend.
Inconsistency from the rest of the squad proved to be the team's biggest weakness.
Sophomore Daley Owens began the weekend, leading the team with a score of 76, but tailed off as the tournament went on. She scored an 89 and an 86 in the second and third rounds. Freshman Lizzy Carl shot an 86 for her opening round but went on to shoot a disappointing 91 in the second round. She rebounded in the final day of play to shoot an 81.
Some of the inconsistency was a result of changes to the course and wind on the second day.
"The course was set up in a difficult way that second day," Ballard said. "Pin placement was more difficult and wind was a factor. Pretty much everyone had their worst round on the second day."
Ballard also acknowledged that her team's youth played an important role.
"I had three freshmen in the lineup," Ballard said. "Their inexperience showed in some of their rounds, but each had a good round."
Going into next season, Ballard is confident her team will continue to improve.
"As a young team they have gotten great experience against great competition," Ballard said. "They will be mentally and physically prepared next year."