Trip to Texas leaves Cats searching for their swing (Women’s Golf)

Alessandra Vavas

After a frigid winter confined the Northwestern women’s golf team to the indoors, the team headed south last week to play in the Betsy Rawls Longhorn Invitational in Austin, Texas.

The Wildcats finished 10th in the 12-team field at the Texas-hosted tournament at Hills Country Club. Senior Elizabeth Burden and junior Lauren Grzebien led NU and tied for 37th place at a 30-over-par 216 for the three-day event.

Sophomore Ina Kim finished 45th as senior Erin Breslin and sophomore Mary Ellen Grzebien tied for 51st.

Jessica Reese of Texas won the tournament at 4-under, 12 strokes better than the second-place finisher.

“We would have hoped to play a little better,” NU coach Christine Regenberg said. “There is a little frustration in the way we competed there and finished. However, we used the rest of the week to put together some pieces of what we need to do to get going as we approach our Midwest schedule.”

Regenberg chalked the disappointing performance up to a difficult course and not enough time to prepare. NU was at a disadvantage during the winter because the weather forced the Cats to practice at their indoor facility at Patten Gymnasium instead of a golf course.

The rust showed as the Cats failed to meet their goals for the third tournament in a row.

“I don’t think there was one person on our team that was happy with the way they played,” Lauren Grzebien said. “At our next tournament, we need to set our expectations a lot higher. It can’t be a gradual thing — we can’t set our expectations a little higher than last week, because that isn’t good enough.”

The notoriously difficult course proved challenging for the Cats, Regenberg said.

“We played a challenging course in a Mercedes Benz champ in the fall in Knoxville,” she said. “This hits us at a different time of the year, rather than when we are at our peak in the fall, now we are trying to get our game together.”

The Cats will be back in action April 12 at the Purdue Boilermakers’ tournament in West Lafayette, Ind., where, according to Regenberg, they hope to “get some of that Wildcat pride going.”

But for now, NU is just looking to play up to their potential.

“It took a little bit out of us for all of us not performing the way we wanted to,” Mary Ellen Grzebien said. “We felt like maybe we could start off the season slowly and that would be okay, but by now we are in the heart of our season, we should be at our peaks.”