Parker Burman – Staff Writer
The Gustavus Women’s golf team spent last weekend down in Waverly, Iowa, for the Wartburg Fall Invitational. Playing at Prairie Links Golf Course, the Gusties looked to start off the year with a strong performance. Gustavus finished in twelfth place out of the 22 teams that had competed in the two-day event.
The top individual performances for Gustavus came from First-year Emily Kolb, who finished tied for 53rd after shooting a 86-76-162 over the two day event. Senior Laurel Ward tied with teammate Junior Annika Reierson for 74th. Ward shot an 86-80-166 while Reierson managed an 84-82-166. Senior Kristin Martens finished tied for 79th, while Senior Zada Olig finished tied for 91st.
“It was super exciting to get back out on the course with the team for the first invitational. We had a great pre-season camp so we were all fired up to play,” Kolb said.
Day one of the competition had less than ideal weather conditions for competitive golf. The Gusties battled rain, wind, and cold. The poor conditions resulted in inflated scores throughout the field, and that included the Gusties.“The weather was tough on Saturday. I don’t think it stopped raining once throughout the whole round. The team and I decided to just embrace the weather and have fun doing it. All of our competitors were in the same situation as us, it just mattered who put on a good attitude and I think our team did that,” Reierson said.
“The first day was probably one of the toughest days of competition any of us have probably faced. It rained all day and even on a perfect day, golf is a mental game, but with chilly weather and soaking wet clothes, it was a lot harder to focus on the round. It was a struggle to hold onto the club or else it would slip out of our hands. But despite the tough, very rainy conditions, the team did a great job of staying positive. We knew we could improve on day two,” Ward said.
Luckily for the Gusties, the weather changed drastically on day two, giving them a chance to move back up the board. “We had beautiful weather for round two so we wanted to enjoy the sunshine and play the golf we know how to play. The team did very well the second day and I think that has to do with the great weather we had compared to the first day,” Reierson said.
After shooting a combined score of 347 on day one, Gustavus turned it around on day two. In better weather they were able to shave off 35 strokes from the previous day’s play for a very competitive 312 combined score.
“If we can play in the rain, we can play in any condition. It’s also important for us to remember to have fun out on the course and to laugh about the good and bad shots we have out there. We also need to believe in ourselves as players and trust our skills and know that we can run with the top teams. We are getting better every week and I’m really excited to compete this weekend and I know the rest of the girls would say the same,” Ward said.
“From this tournament, I think that the team and I will continue to have confidence over our shots and persevere through every circumstance that may come our way this weekend at the DIII classic,” Kolb said.
The Gustavus Women’s Golf team will once again be on the road this weekend. They will travel to Hastings, Minnesota to compete in the Division lll Classic at Emerald Greens Golf Course. Hoping to build off a strong day two from their last competition, they will look to move up the leaderboards this time around.