Rutgers finishes 52 shots over par at SC invite
The Rutgers women’s golf team went into the Kiawah Spring Invitational in South Carolina looking to build on its performance Feb. 17-18 in the Michigan State Central District Invitational.
The Scarlet Knights’ overall score was a 997 (340-319-338), shooting 133 over par to finish in 31st among 36 teams.
Rutgers got off to a rough start Sunday, shooting 52 strokes over par for a combined score of 340, in the first round. The Knights finished the round tied for 33rd.
Monday’s second round was a completely different story for Rutgers, as every golfer showed improvement from her first-round scores, with the exception of sophomore Samantha Moyal, who shot the same score.
Rutgers finished 21st on the day at 31 strokes over par with a score of 319.
The Knights struggled in round three Tuesday as they shot 50 strokes over par for a combined score of 338 to finish the tournament in 31st place.
The playing conditions impacted the Knights’ performance.
“There were very difficult playing conditions [Tuesday] during our third round,” said head coach Maura Ballard. “It was windy and the temperatures were 36 to 38 degrees with wind chills in the high 20s — very cold and difficult to stay loose and keep your feel around the greens. That was the main problem [Tuesday] and why we were not able to capitalize on the improvement we made [Monday].”
The inexperience of playing in the cold also added a challenge.
“I think everyone has a few bad days of golf here and there,” said sophomore Samantha Moyal. “After a while, if you’re not used to playing in this kind of cold, a lot of things can go wrong.”
Freshman Taylor Clark had another solid tournament, turning in scores of 88-76-72.
She improved every round and shot on par in the third round and finished in a tie for 70th overall. Her third-round performance was good for a fifth-place tie out of 190 competitors.
“I definitely changed my mindset for the final two rounds,” Clark said. “During the first round, I had a couple of bad breaks that I allowed to frustrate me, which ultimately led to a poor day on the course. However, during the final two rounds, I was very optimistic and ready to play.”
Freshman Maddy Gedeon shot a 251 (83-79-89), sophomores Gabrielle Sacheli and Jackie Mullens shot 255 (86-81-88) and 273 (100-84-89), respectively, and Moyal shot a 260 (83-83-94).
“We are still working out the kinks as we’re not practicing on a course yet at home. Every time we play we’re learning something new about our games,” Ballard said. “Because it is early in their college careers, these events we’re playing in so early in the year are great learning experiences for them. They’re learning what they need to do to be mentally tough out there and take care of the shot at hand.”