Women’s golf team looks ahead to promising season

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Tate Head '13 and Caitlin Holland '13 practice at the Walla Walla Country Club before the Sept. 18-19 Pacific Women's Golf Invitational. Photo Credit: Brandon Fennell

This year’s women’s golf team is off to an early, strong start. The team recently placed second in the George Fox Fall Invitational on Sept. 12–the first tournament of the season. The home team, who is ranked in the top ten in the nation, placed first.   These strong results reinforced the team’s opening attitudes for the season.

“[It] was pretty exciting for us,” said sophomore Tate Head. “Especially when we all know that we can play much better than we did that day.”

The second tournament of the season, the Pacific Invitational in Forest Grove, Ore. was held on Sept. 19 and 20. Upon Saturday’s conclusion the Missionaries were slotted in fourth place, behind Linfield, Whitworth, and Pacific, respectively, and ahead of Willamette and Corban, in fifth and sixth.

“Our scores were not as great as we would have liked,” remarked Head on the heels of the second day of the tournament. “But we are going to go out tomorrow [to] make up some ground.”

And Monday they did just that. First-years Elaine Whaley and Katie Zajicek both shot a score of 81 for the day–helping give the Missionaries a team score of 341 for third place. This was just four shots off from the second place score of Whitworth University, and even after losing fifteen strokes when Head miscounted her scorecard–disqualifying her personal best score of 79 from the total.

The women’s golf team is a young team consisting of five first-years, two sophomores and two juniors. Nevertheless, all of the players are very dedicated and want to see the program succeed.

“The team dynamics have definitely changed this year,” said Head. “We have gone from not even having a full team two years ago to having a team this year of players who all came to Whitman with the intention of playing college golf. It is great to see Whitman’s golf team grow and improve and I am so glad that I can be a part of it.”

This season, with all of the new talent like Whaley and Zajicek, who matched each other’s score of 91 at the George Fox Fall Invitational, shows promise for success.

Head is also optimistic about what is to come.

“I expect this season to get better and better,” she said. “We have great players and an incredible team atmosphere that I am so lucky to be a part of. It is neat how we have come from not having enough players to play as a team, to being a team that could potentially win the conference title and earn a trip to nationals in the next couple years.”

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