Women’s Golf: Warhawks take fourth in first tournament of spring

 

April 2, 2014

By Paul Bressler

After a five-month break, the UW-Whitewater women’s golf team kicked off its Spring Break against some tough competition and took fourth place in the Rhodes Invitational at Windyke Country Club in Memphis, Tenn.

“Most of us haven’t touched a club in five months,” sophomore Sammie Liebham said. “I’m happy with the result.”

The two-day invitational saw Liebham and junior Vivian Shoemaker put on a solid showing, despite the lack of practice time. They each carded a two-day total of 178 and tied for 20th among individuals.

Senior Catherine Hiltenbrand finished four shots back and tied for 23rd after carding a two-day total of 182.

“I didn’t have big expectations going in,” Hiltenbrand said. “I hadn’t played since October, but I played better than I thought I would. I hit the ball pretty well, but there were a couple of holes that got away from me.”

The No. 8-ranked Rhodes College won its home invite with a team score of 646. The No. 12-ranked Centre College finished five strokes back and came in second with a two-day total of 651. No. 18-ranked Carthage College shot a 680 and finished third.

“We faced some tough competition,” Hiltenbrand said. “Middle of the pack is where I expected us to be. The top teams have been playing for a month already. We had little preparation going in.”

The Warhawks finished fourth of the six teams at the Sunday and Monday invitational after accumulating a two-day total of 729. Five shots off the ’Hawks mark, Macalester College turned in a fifth-place finish with a 734. Transylvania University rounded out the competition with a 747.

Rhodes freshman sensation Nikki Isaacson earned medalist honors with a two-day total of 155 (77-78).

The Rhodes Invitational was the first of five scheduled competitions for the ’Hawks this spring. Although a WIAC title is not on the line this spring, the ’Hawks are looking forward to their home tournament in Delavan, Wis. on April 18 and 19.

“I won the home tournament last year,” Liebham said. “It would be awesome if I could win it again. I want us to do well in the tournament and have fun.”

Liebham is not the only Warhawk preparing for a successful home stand. Hiltenbrand echoed those same sentiments.

“We definitely want to come out and put on a good showing,” Hiltenbrand said. “I want to finish first, and I think we are capable of that. We need to put four good scores together.”

Head coach Brett Weber is looking to use the team’s spring season as a way to incorporate some new changes. Weber showed a sample of this change during the weekend by shaking up his regular line-up.

“There are going to be some changes to the structure of the team,” Weber said. “The girls asked for there to be more accountability and discipline. There is a lot of winning that goes on at the university, and we want to be a part of that, too.”

The team will compete in its second event at the Illinois Wesleyan Spring Fling at Ironwood Golf Course in Bloomington, Ill., on April 12 and 13.

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