The Gustavus Men’s and Women’s Golf teams have much to look forward to while wrapping up their 2007-2008 seasons. Both teams are preparing for the Division III National Golf Meets in mid-May.
The men secured their bid to Nationals by winning the MIAC Conference Meet last fall and they are looking forward to the National Championships which will be held at Chateau Elan in Brazilton, Georgia. The Gusties’ success from last fall rolled over into spring, as the team took first at the Wartburg Invitational with a two-day total of 606, beating Maryville by three strokes. Senior Jordan Hawkinson was the Gusties’ top performer, posting a two-day score of 148 which placed him second overall.
This week, the men fell short to St. John’s in their home meet—the Bobby Krig Invitational. The team’s two-day play was good enough for a score of 306, but not good enough to top the Johnnies’ team total of 290.
Coach Scott Moe didn’t think the men played quite to their potential at their home invite, but the team sill has a few matches against St. John’s. Moe hopes these matches will prepare them for Nationals.
This Sunday, the Gustie men will attend the Johnnies’ home invite and then follow it up by hosting St. John’s at the Wayzata Country Club in early May. “I think it is very healthy and beneficial to both teams. We both really want to beat each other, but we definitely respect each other as well,” Moe said.
The men are looking forward to the trip out to Georgia, but they understand that there is certainly room for improvement. Moe alluded to the fact that he will be looking for his team to be more consistent and to continually improve on shaving-off strokes in the big meets. “We’ve always been a team that grinds out allof our rounds when things aren’t going so well, and that is a must this time of year,” he said.
The Gustavus Women’s team, despite losing to St. Thomas at the end of the fall season and falling short in the MIAC Conference Meet, is currently ranked second in DIII women’s golf and is confident that it can secure an at-large bid.
“St. Thomas took the automatic bid from us at conference last fall, but we’ve worked hard and kept a low average this spring. We should be right on track to get an at-large bid for Nationals,” said Junior Kimbra Kozak.
In preparation for Nationals, the women have had some very successful meets this spring. The team took first at the Wartburg Invitational and followed up that meet with a second-place finish at the Carleton Invite.
Thus far, the most impressive performance yet this spring season came at the Minnesota Women’s Collegiate Golf Association Invitational where the women broke the school record with a score of 297, beating the previous record of 308.
Individually, four of the top five golfers were Gusties. Sophomore Kali Griggs took first with a two-round total of 149, followed by teammate Senior Rachel Roberg, who secured second with a 150. First-year Katie Schenfeld tied for third place with a 151 and Junior Kimbra Kosak took fifth overall with a score of 155.
“We finally all had a good day on the same day collectively and it all clicked mentally. It was especially important to be beating St. Thomas by 17 on the first day so we didn’t have to play catch-up on day two,” Kosak said.
Coming together to have a good day will be important for the women when preparing for the upcoming National Championships in Waverly, Iowa. In preparation for that event, they will host St. Olaf on May 3.