Autumn Zierman – Staff Writer
The Gustavus women’s golf team returns from a successful two-day invitational this past weekend. Day one of the Wartburg invitational, Sept 11, saw GAC women’s golf carding a 299, the second lowest in program history. The team scored two strokes behind the 2008 record and sits tied in second place behind St. Catherine. The Gustavus women’s golf team finished day two, Sept 12, of the Wartburg Fall Invite carding 604 on 36 holes, surpassing the 2008 record by one stroke and setting the program record overall.
“It was an absolutely amazing feeling to break the 36-hole program record this past weekend. It is a great honor and really showed that our hard work has been paying off. In addition, this gives us confidence moving forward into the second half of our season” Senior Sydney Regalado, who carded an ace on the fourteenth hole this last weekend, said.
“What a fantastic weekend for the women golfers. It’s always interesting to see how teams follow up a strong performance, so after our second lowest round in Gustavus women’s golf history, we followed up with a 305 today which gave the gals the lowest 36-hole score total in women’s golf history. Couldn’t be prouder and happier for the team. We’ve had high expectations for them for a long time and they finally showed what they can do,” Coach Randall Stuckey said.
“We didn’t know we were in the running to break the record going into day two, we just showed up, competed, and found out that we broke the record,” Junior Hannah Hubbart said.
Many of the women are returning golfers this year. A season preview showcasing returning members tells us that this season the women’s team returns their entire roster including three seniors following a second-place conference championship finish. Senior Emily Kratz enters after placing sixth in the conference and a team best average of 79.5 strokes per round to garner All-Region and All-Conference honors.
Joining her in the All-Conference lineup is Senior Erin Ericson, who posted 80-80-73-233 (+17) to tie seventh in the conference championship, and MIAC Elite 22 recipient Sydney Regalado who finished tenth. The Gustie women will look to Juniors Laurel Ward and Hannah Hubbart following strong performances in all five tournaments of the spring season.
“Looking ahead, we are excited to all shoot low scores again and contend in the upcoming tournaments. We now also have experience shooting low scores and playing in the final groups with the best players and will thus be more comfortable when we are in this position in future tournaments and especially at the MIAC conference. Our ultimate goal would be to win the MIAC conference championships at the beginning of October, but we are taking it one tournament at a time,” Regalado said.
The Gusties placed fourth out of 16 teams, with St. Cate’s winning the tournament with a final score of 586.
“Our positive attitudes have also contributed to our low scores recently. As a team, we have learned to move on from struggles on previous holes and focus on the holes ahead instead of the past. This has really allowed us to perform very well as a team and will especially help us during the later tournaments of the season. This has been something that was emphasized by coach Scott Moe for many years and was finally fully understood by our team this year and has greatly improved the team dynamic,” Relagado said of the entire team’s attitude last weekend and looking ahead.
The team is getting ready now to head for Hastings, Minnesota on Sept 18 and 19 for the Division III Classics tournament.
“Going off of this, our team unity is better than ever. We are so positive and supportive of one another and frequently have team dinners, game nights and practice sessions together. Overall, we are a very strong team with a good outlook on the season. We hope to continue our strong performance in the upcoming tournaments,” Regalado said.
“Our team has felt much closer this year compared to previous years. It is a much more supportive environment and we are working together to push each other to do our very best. It is different this year because it is back to normal with playing with different girls from different schools, which I think is better for the performance of our team.” Hubbart said.