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|Monmouth College Women's Golf Team Ready for Conference Meet
|With the 54-hole Midwest Conference Women's Golf Championships coming up this Friday through Sunday at Aldeen Golf Course in Rockford, Ill., the Monmouth College team couldn't have picked a better time to play their best golf.
The Fighting Scots have shot their best four rounds of the season in their last four meets, giving coach Molly McNamara a reason for optimism.
"We're playing as well as we have all year," said McNamara. "There are a number of teams who could win it. I really feel like it's a wide open field this year."
McNamara should know a thing or two about wide open fields. The coach was a senior on Monmouth's only women's golf championship team in 2002 when the Scots won the meet by a mere nine strokes. The Scots finished ahead of two MWC teams in a meet last week - including six-time defending champion Illinois College.
"Illinois College doesn't have the roster they had a year ago," reported McNamara. "A lot of conference schools are playing well and have a shot. We consider ourselves to be one of those contenders. Most schools will have a chance this year, including us."
The Scots may only lack experience, as senior Lynsey Barnard has earned the roster's lone all-conference honors, and that was two years ago. Barnard has led the team in most meets this season and junior Kristin Humphrey has come on strong. Freshman Nicole Hurst fired a career-best round last weekend while senior Kendra Catterton has made "huge" improvements over her four years. The newest member of the mix - junior Kayla Winbigler - is golfing competitively for the first time, but has been steadily dropping her scores and also fired a career-low last weekend.
"Everything is coming together for us," claimed McNamara. "Last year we started the season strong and then fizzled out at conference. This year we've been looking ahead to the big picture, trying to peak at the conference meet. We'll have to be mentally ready and understand we could be playing in cold and wet conditions. Of course, it's the same for everyone."
In addition to the mental game, McNamara sees the short game as the key to success at Aldeen. The tree-lined fairways offer a little forgiveness for errant shots, but the players will have to make their shots.
"I believe the team that shoots closest to 360 all three days will win the title," said McNamara. "You could really just pull teams out of a hat. Somebody's got to win it and it might as well be us."
(Monmouth College Athletic Department)