Knights finish eighth in mixed conditions at Invite
The Rutgers women’s golf team came in to the Seton Hall Invitational this past weekend looking to end its season on a high note before the AAC Tournament.
The Scarlet Knights finished in the middle of the pack in Bedminster, N.J., tying for 8th place with Long Island out of 17 teams. The Knights shot a 335-329 for a combined score of 664.
There was an improvement from the team on the second day on Sunday as it adjusted to the course and the weather clearing up.
Head coach Maura Ballard praised her team’s performance.
“I was happy with the intensity we played with this weekend,” Ballard said. “The wind and cold temperatures made the playing conditions very difficult. I am proud of the way each of our players kept their composure and stayed focused throughout their rounds.”
The Knights fought through the weather conditions on the first day as winds swirled at roughly 20 miles per hour. This altered each golfer’s approach to how they would play a hole and hit the ball.
But Rutgers stayed with it and improved on the second day in part because of improved weather.
Sophomore Samantha Moyal was the Knights’ best performer. Moyal shot an 82-79, good for 17th place out of 90 golfers.
Moyal felt that her scores could have been even better if things went her way at times.
“I missed a few birdie and par opportunities both days from around 5 feet,” Moyal said. “That’s where luck sometimes makes all of the difference.”
Ballard was proud of Moyal, as she had been dealing with lower back pain and spasms all week.
Moyal was able to overcome the pain after working with the trainer last week prior to the tournament in order to be healthy enough.
“We are hoping [Moyal will] get some rest and be healthy enough to play in the AAC Championship,” Ballard said.
Rutgers is hopeful that the two weeks leading up to April 20-22’s AAC Championship will provide enough time for the sophomore to get back to full health.
Sophomores Christina Paulsen and Melanie Chambers shot 80-82 and 86-92, respectively. Chambers stepped into the lineup after sophomore Gabriele Sacheli was unable to compete due to illness.
Freshmen Maddy Gedeon shot an 87-83 and Taylor Clark added an 88-85.
Clark had an unusually rough tournament but is ready to move past it.
“I am definitely motivated to play well at the AAC Championships,” Clark said. “I did not play to my full potential last weekend, and I am ready to regain my focus and use my experience when we play in Florida.”
It was Paulsen’s second tournament as a Knight after she transferred from Jacksonville.
“Christina has acclimated well to representing RU on the golf course after having transferred from Jacksonville University,” Ballard said. ”She is a very disciplined player and I look forward to her continued contributions to our team.”
Ballard was proud of Rutgers’ performance and believes this is only the start for the Knights.
“The team is young, only sophomores and freshmen, and with all this great experience they’re getting this year we will be seeing great things from them in the future,” Ballard said.
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