Golf team captures 6th straight WIAC Championship


Whitewater poses for a team photo after winning its sixth WIAC Championship for the 2022 season

Brian Gale, Journalist

The UW-Whitewater women’s golf team has won it’s sixth straight WIAC championship. This also means that they have received the automatic qualifier for the NCAA Division III Tournament. After being down five strokes after the first round to UW-Lacrosse, Whitewater needed to bounce back and play from behind. 

“’Patience and Presence will move us forward’ is our motto. We planned to bounce back by playing our own game with patience and staying present on every shot not worrying about the outcome,” said head coach Andrea Wieland. 

Whitewater did just that as they stormed back to tie and force a one hole playoff between them and Lacrosse. This would be the first team playoff in Whitewater history and it would be a close one as the Warhawks would just beat them by a score of 19 shots to 20. 

“We kept our strategy the same patience and presence. We were grateful for the opportunity to be in the playoff, and we strategized for where we wanted our tee shots to be, and where we wanted coaches to help or not help, and focused on each separate shot individually when it was our turn to go. We tried not to let what our opponents were doing affect our shots. And it didn’t. We stayed very present and focused during the playoff, which I think helped us win,” said Wieland. 

The team scores for Whitewater were Ashton Sinak 234, Ellie Johnson 241, Kallie Lux 244, Lily Sheppard 253, Madison LaPaz 257, and a team total of 971.  

Whitewater wasn’t just successful as a team but also individually. They didn’t have just one but three finishes in the top three. Senior Grace Westerman shot a 248 and finished first. Junior Haley Myers and sophomore Abbie Reise both tied for second shooting a 254. But they couldn’t catch Grace Westerman who led the whole time. 

“My confidence level going into the tournament was high, I knew what the team was capable of, and we were all prepared for the stress of the event,” said Westerman. “The whole tournament I felt that it was close, but I had confidence that the team, even when they weren’t having their best days, had the ability to win. When 54 holes ended, and the teams were tied, I still had the confidence in our team as we had all practiced moments like these, and we had the tools to help play under pressure.”

One of the biggest challenges Whitewater faced throughout the event was the weather. 

“I believe a lot of the challenges stemmed from the weather as we were not used to playing in 40-50 degrees with 20 mile an hour wind. The weather messes up your feel and when you lose it, it can mess with your whole game,” said Westerman. “There was also the challenge of competing against the people you were playing with. Going into the tournament I had a goal for myself to be the lowest score of the individual players (players not competing as part of the team), on the last day I was paired with a girl that I knew was only a couple strokes behind me for the weekend and I challenged myself to play better than her which I did and was the lowest scoring individual player of the tournament.”

The next step for Whitewater is the Golf Week Division III Tournament in Florida, which will be their final event of the fall. But since they won the conference championship they have earned an automatic bid to the division three national championships in the spring.