It’s been four months since the Loyola women’s golf team played a tournament. The team opened its spring season at the Edwin Watts Intercollegiate golf tournament to shake off the rust and find out what kind of talent the team has.
At the tournament, the Ramblers finished in a tie for 37th out of 43 teams. Sophomore Elayna Bowser led the team with a career low 73 to finish 6-over on the second day and finished tied for 47th. Bowser finished 13 shots ahead of her next best teammate, first-year Morgan Brown, who finished in a tie for 145th.
On the final day of competition, the Ramblers jumped two spots from a tie for 39th due to junior Jessie Staed’s career day. Staed beat her previous career best by one stroke shooting a one-under 71.
Prior to the tournament, the Ramblers traveled to Kiawah, South Carolina, to practice and compete for the five starting spots.
The person making the decision on the top five golfers is first-year head coach and former Loyola golfer Carly Schneider. She said she’s confident in her team and her coaching abilities.
“I have a very holistic approach to coaching,” said Schneider. “Mind, body and spirit, I’m trying to find the resources and tools to get each player in their optimum potential.”
Although Natalie Meyers and Logan Willis are the lone seniors on the women’s golf team, Bowser and Morgan Brown lead the Ramblers on the scoreboard. Bowser is averaging 76.8 strokes, while Brown follows closely behind, averaging 78.1 strokes.
The team had an up and down fall season which included finishing second to last at the Missouri Valley Conference preview but was highlighted by a first place finish at the Loyola invitational and fourth place finishes at the Rocket Classic in Toledo, Ohio and the Flyer Invitational in Dayton, Ohio.
Bowser said the team’s goal is to build on the fall season’s success.
“Ultimately, our team goal is just to improve each week at each tournament and get better and start competing against those Missouri Valley schools,” Bowser said. “[We need to] keep improving so we can reach our goal of winning the Missouri Valley Conference.”
During winter break, the team worked on its short game — putting and chipping — in preparation for the spring season, but Schneider said it’s hard to practice some of those shots in Chicago’s weather. The recent warm weather has allowed the team to get outside and practice some of the weird shots that come up in tournament play when a player gets in a trouble spot.
“Let’s make mistakes now so that when we’re in tournament [play and] we get in that situation, we’re prepared,” Schneider said.
Loyola is scheduled to travel to Carbondale, Illinois, to compete at the Saluki Invitational on March 26.