Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 5
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Women’s golf captures NWC crown, men look forward to next season

Whitman golf simultaneously reached its peak and valley this past weekend as the women’s golf team took home the Northwest Conference Championship while the men found themselves in a disappointing sixth place finish.  

With a hold on second place in the conference standings heading into the NWC Championships, the women were calm and confident.

“Our team goal was to win the tournament and go to Nationals which we knew was not out of our reach,” said first-year Kelly Sweeney.

The girls channeled that confidence into two stellar rounds of golf posting scores of 317 and 312 at the Columbia Point Golf Club in Richland, Wash. These rounds gave the women a two day total of 629, five strokes better than the seventh-best team in the country, George Fox University.

The women attributed their success to good teammates, level heads and hard work.

“I really think it was our hard work ethic, and our ability to want everyone on the team to do well. We are competitive, but we truly want every person on our team to succeed. This is amazing, because so many teams are competitive with their teammates. We want to bring out the best in each other,” said elated sophomore captain Elaine Whaley.

Sweeney believed in the dedication of not just the players but the parents as well.

“Our support system is also something that makes us such a strong and amazing team. Our parents come to every tournament to cheer us on and it’s amazing to see everyone out there watching you and supporting you and your teammates through the good and the bad,” said Sweeney.

This support system was certainly needed as the women entered the second day with only a one stroke lead on George Fox. However the women did not falter.

“We knew we had a chance to win the tournament but we all handled the pressure very professionally and in the end, not getting too far ahead of ourselves paid off,” said Sweeney.

The taste of victory could not have been sweeter as the women finished the day, dreams in hand.

“It was incredible. Everyone was so happy and proud of each other. It meant so much to us all because we had worked all year for those two days,” said Sweeney.

Next up for the women will be the NCAA National championships in Angola, Ind., held May 8-11 at the Zollner Golf Course.

The men’s team started the weekend confident, much like the women’s team.

“The expectations of the team were very high going into the tournament this weekend . . . The goal was to win,” said first-year Scott Martin.

Sophomore Andrew Welch echoed his teammate: “We went into the tournament expecting to win.  We were in second place knowing that we were in control of our own fate; if we won, we were going to Florida.  We knew we had it in us.”

Unfortunately the men come out tight, shooting a 319 for the first day, leaving them in 7th place.

“There was so much pressure going into Saturday, that it may have been detrimental to our scores,” said Martin.

However, an alleviation of pressure and senior leadership calmed the nerves for the second day.

“Our captain, John Abercrombie, Big John to the team, helped get everyone back into a good attitude after the (first) round. When other teams were kicking themselves we had great camaraderie and were ready to come back stronger the next day,”   said junior Geoff Burks.  

Coach Peter McClure could see a clear difference from the first to the second day.

“We fell short of our scoring goal the first day, so on the second day, I felt like the guys relaxed a little and played closer to their  normal game. The team never gave up and every player tried their best on every shot,” said McClure.

The men ended up shooting a 313 for day two giving them a two day total of 632, 36 shots off the winning Linfield Wildcats. This score left the team in sixth place for the tournament and fourth overall in the conference to end the season.  

“As expected, we were all upset.  I think what hit us the most was that we all knew how much better we were.  We knew that we are better than any team in the NWC if we put our best foot forward and unfortunately we weren’t able to do that this weekend,” said Welch.

McClure, however, summed up the season on a positive note.

“We have had a great golf year. Every player on the team contributed to the success we had this year. Our team’s chemistry has been outstanding. We are so looking forward to next fall!”

 

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