SE: Women’s Golf Begins Spring Season
K-State women’s golf opens its spring season today in sunny Florida as it is
set to compete in the Florida State Match-Up at the par-72, 6,265-yard Don
Veller Seminole Golf Course and Club in Tallahassee, Florida.
“I’m excited; we’re ready to get on the road,” said Wildcat head coach Kristi Knight earlier this week. “I think it’s time to get going. We haven’t been able to be out on the course much here, but when they have been out, they did a good job. There was good golf played on our practice trip in Arizona, and we appear to have a lot more competition amongst the team in qualifying. It’s exciting.”
Following a fall season that saw the Wildcats earn three top-10 team finishes, K-State spent the winter months practicing on their own and training individually. However, during the past three weeks, the squad has had the opportunity to practice as a team. The Wildcats took a team practice trip, have come together and are ready to go.
“I’m really excited to get everything started,” said freshman Chloe Weir. “I think our team has bonded really well. We worked hard over winter break and we’ve come back and practiced really well. I’m excited to see what happens this first tournament.”
Along with K-State, this weekend’s three-day tournament will feature 12 teams (SMU, Coastal Carolina, Florida State, Furman, James Madison, Missouri, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Virginia and Virginia Tech). The first of its kind in NCAA Women’s Golf, the 12 teams will be paired to compete against the other team pairs. At the end of the tournament, the teams with the lowest score will win the Match-Up. K-State will be paired with SMU, but the regular team and individual scores will also be kept.
However, for the Wildcats, it’s not necessarily about who they’re paired with or who they’re competing against. It’s about the course and how the team handles its own game.
“The fun of the challenge is playing the golf course, that’s the key. It’s about how well can we go play Seminole Golf Course,” said Knight. “The course is always your opponent. We don’t want to be distracted by teams or certain players; it’s just a matter of how well we go play Seminole Golf Course. That’s what we’ve been preparing for.”
The team arrived in Florida on Wednesday afternoon, had the opportunity to practice on the course yesterday and, today, will tee off in its first appearance of 2016.
“I love where the team is at right now,” added Weir. “I think that we each know what we need to work on and we’ve all set aside time to really focus on those things.”
This year’s Wildcat squad features one freshman in Weir, one sophomore, three juniors and one senior. The team is led by junior Madison Talley, who played in all five events during the fall and averaged a team-best 73.00 stroke average and team-best two top-five finishes. Along with Talley, sophomore Connie Jaffrey, junior Katherine Gravel-Coursol and senior Scotland Preston also played in all five of the Wildcats’ fall tournaments.
The five Wildcats competing in this weekend’s tournament are Talley, Preston, Nelson, Gravel-Coursol and Weir.
“I’m really proud of Scotland,” said Knight of her lone senior. “She’s always been a diligent practice player and seems to really enjoy the process of trying to get better. It was nice to see her this fall early on in tournaments put together some good rounds.”
Of her youngest player, Weir, Knight said, “She’s so much more comfortable. Chloe has come back this spring and is just a super talented young lady. Like most freshmen, that first semester, there was a lot going on, everything was new, but she’s come back and she’s playing well, hitting the ball well and doing a nice job.”
With the winter now behind it, the Wildcat women’s golf squad is focused and ready to take on this spring.