Whitewater hosts golf Fall Invitational

Warhawks have four Top-12 finishers: End in 3rd as team in competition


Freshmen Jessica Laberge hits a stroke at Riverside Golf Course on Saturday September 21. She shot 100 and 99 to finish at 199.

Ethan Maurice, Sports Editor

The Warhawk Golf team held their only home event of the season, the Warhawk Fall Invitational, at Riverside Golf Course in Janesville this past Friday and Saturday. The Warhawks took third place overall after finishing the first day in second place. Four Warhawks finished in the top 12 of the field of 96.

Kelly Storti posted the best Warhawk score after day two. She shot a 76 on Friday, and 77 to complete the event on Saturday, for a total of 153, good for 6th place in the tournament.

Ashton Sinak, last week’s champion at the Illinois Wesleyan Fall Invitational, shot a day-one best 74, but turned in an 80 on the second day. She finished second on the team, and eighth overall.

Ashley Hofmeister shot 79 and 78 for 157, which was good for a top-10 finish, while CheyAnn Knudsen went 76, 82; 158, a 12th place finish. Rounding out the team competition was Kristin Bowe, who shot 85, 80; 165. The Warhawks finished third out of 18 teams, only 11 strokes behind leader St. Mary’s College.

The individual leader was Hunter Kehoe, of St. Mary’s with a score of 70, 74; 144.

Home field advantage is always nice to have, and the entire Warhawk Golf program was happy to have a local event.

“It’s really nice to sleep in our own beds at night and not have to travel,” said coach Andrea Wieland. “Of course, we’re a little more comfortable with the golf course as well.”

The first day of the event was a gorgeous September day with lazy winds and clear skies. The golfers didn’t have any weather trouble, but did face a tough course, including an especially tough hole 10.

“I know that hole has a lot open on the right,” said Storti, after facing the tough par-4. The hole bends right, and has trees overhanging the fairway just before the turn. Storti hit her shot directly through those trees, and let out a frustrated gasp. “Obviously, that’s not what I want to do,” she said.

Her next shot was tough, but she stepped up to the ball with confidence. “I was a little bit, freaking out inside, but I’ve done that before,” she said.  “I know how it plays.”

She saved the hole by hitting the green after her second shot, and finished the hole with a par, showing strong mental focus.

“We just try to control our shots, shot by shot,” said Wieland, who has been Storti’s coach all four years of her collegiate career. “It will all add up in the end,” she said.

“I was hitting a lot of greens, but I was leaving myself with some longer putts,” Storti said “None of them dropped, but it was not that big of a deal. I still was just leaving the hole with pars.”

The Warhawk ladies always have high expectations, but none were higher than for Ashton Sinak. Coming off last week’s victory in Illinois, she wanted to make sure to stay focused on what was ahead.

“I just didn’t want to come into this with a big head or anything, thinking I could go do that again,” she said. Her first-round results were strong.

“It felt good. It started a little shaky and I was a little unsure of how the day was going to go but I kept my hopes up and everything, and it went really well,” she said.

Sinak wasn’t able to find her groove in the final round, but did post a very strong 154 for the overall tournament, a testament to her ability to focus. “We’ve been working on that very specifically, those skills,” said Wieland of her mentally strong golfers. “That’s what we’ve had to work on, and we’ve been doing well with it.”

The Warhawks will golf again at UW-Stevens Point next weekend on October 4, as they prepare for the WIAC Conference championship.