Golf takes big swings in season starter


Brian Gale, Journalist

Whitewater women’s golf has been nothing but successful the past five years winning the past five WIAC titles. And they have no plans on slowing down anytime soon, as they look to begin the 2022 season.

We have a target on our back since we have won five WIAC Conference Titles in a row.  So, everyone is out to ‘get us,’ so we just focus on bettering ourselves out on the golf course each and every day.  The expectation is that we are working toward getting better and maximizing our potential.  The goal is always to win the WIAC, because the WIAC champion earns an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament Championship,” says head coach Andrea Wieland.

This year’s Whitewater golf team is stacked from top to bottom, with all 16 players being able to play in the top five. With all five players returning from last year, Whitewater has a great opportunity to repeat. A name to watch out for is sophomore Ellie Johnson. During her freshman season was placed as the number five golfer but this year Coach Wieland expects her to be the number one. Some other golfers to watch out for this season would be junior Emma Norton and senior Grace Westerman. Both of them will be competing for that fifth spot.  

“All three of them improved a lot over the summer and we have already seen their improvements,” says Wieland

 The team looks forward to all the opponents they compete against as they can learn and see what kind of adjustments they can make to beat them. One tournament they do have circled on their calendars is a tournament in Wartburg on September 10th and 11th which features many other regionally ranked teams. 

“I am really excited for this season for many reasons, but mostly because we are going to “Swing for Six”. But also because I have a great group of women who are great people, on and off the golf course,” says Wieland.

The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater women’s golf team had three squads finishing among the top five with on atop the final leaderboard at the Battle on the Border at Bristol Oaks Golf Club in Bristol, Wisconsin Sept. 2-3.
The Warhawks were led by Ashton Sinak (St. Louis, Mo./Visitation Academy) who finished tied for second, just one stroke behind the individual champion. Sinak carded a 74 on day one and followed with an 80 on day two. She was joined on the top five-some by teammates Lily Sheppard (Sherwood, Wis./Kaukauna) who finished fourth (79-76), Ellie Johnson who tied for fifth (78-78), Kallie Lux (Janesville, Wis./Craig) who tied for eighth (84-75) and Madison LaPaz who finished 13th (84-77).
A second UW-Whitewater squad combined for a 676 (338-338) to finish fourth in the team standings. Abbie Reiser’s(Washington, Ill./Washington Community) 158 (79-79) led the group and was seventh best individually in the event. Kellie Shanahan (Wauconda, Ill./Mundelein) (84-87), Emily Akers (Schaumburg, Ill./Schaumburg) (89-85), Sarah Ewing(St. Louis, Mo./Webster Groves) (87-87) and Jessie LaBerge (88-88) all finished among the top 35 individually to help the team to the fourth-place finish.
The third Warhawk group finished just four strokes back for fifth with a 680 (336-344). Haley Myers (Somerset, Wis./Somerset) led the five-some carding an 83 Friday and 86 Saturday to tie for 20th. She was joined by Lauren Winter (Johnsburg, Ill./Johnsburg) who shaved 10 strokes off her first day card for an 81 on day two, Jennifer Berardi(Highland Park, Ill./Highland Park) (84-89), Emma Norton (Lanark, Ill./Eastland) (87-88), and Grace Westerman(Oconomowoc, Wis./Oconomowoc) (82-95) who all finished among the top 40.
Sammy Galian (New Berlin, Wis./Eisenhower) also competed individually posting a two-day total of 192 to tie for 60th.
UW-Whitewater, which is receiving votes in the Mizuno Women’s Golf Coaches Association Division III poll, heads to Waverly, Iowa next weekend September 10-11 for the Wartburg Fall Invite.