Kim Leads Cats To 3rd At Big Tens (Women’s Golf)

Franklin Kao

By Franklin KaoThe Daily Northwestern

Plato said, “Never discourage anyone … who continually makes progress no matter how slow.” If Plato was at the Big Ten Championships this past weekend in East Lansing, Mich., he definitely would not have discouraged the Wildcats.

The Cats shot 68-over 1220 (313-307-301-299) while improving their score with each round that they played. Northwestern finished in third place behind Michigan State, which shot 36-over 1188 and Purdue, which shot 49-over 1201.

Senior Alice Kim, who won the individual title last year, finished fifth on the weekend with NU’s lowest score of 11-over 299 (78-73-74-74). Kim said that the team pulled together well knowing what it wanted to accomplish.

This was the second time the Cats competed on the course this season, after September’s Lady Northern Invitational. Kim said the experience on the course was helpful.

“All of us played that course about a dozen times or so. It was just going out there and just hitting the ball,” Kim said. “(We) didn’t have to have any of the unknown factor given on the course while we were playing.”

NU struggled the first day due to the changing weather conditions, but after a stronger second round, the team fed off of the momentum through the remainder of the tournament.

“As a team we all took the positives from the round before and focused on those and created a game plan for ourselves the next day, ” Kim said. “We just went out there and played … didn’t play defensively … there weren’t any factors that would hold against us.”

Kim said the Cats performed better than last year because of the factors outside of playing that brought them together. She said that the friendships that were made throughout the year improved their performance from last year.

“Every team does the practicing and we all worked very hard at making sure that we’ve done all the hours and put in all the work,” Kim said. “But aside from that there’s (a) kind of desire to be out there with the rest of the team. … It just makes the process easier and gets you to work harder and want to do your best for the sake of the team.”

Besides Kim, senior Lili Alvarez also finished in the top 10 for NU. Alvarez shot a 16-over 304 (78-78-75-73) and finished seventh. Sophomore Jennifer Hong shot 24-over 312 (82-77-75-78) to earn herself a top-20 finish at 18th.

Senior Heather Scholten was right behind Hong with a 26-over 314 (80-79-79-76) finish which placed her at 26th. Junior Katie Trachok finished 33rd at 30-over 318 (77-83-82-76). Junior Brittany Johnston finished 53rd place at 40-over 328 (82-90-77-79).

Preparing for the NCAA Regional Championships at Ann Arbor, Mich., NU is going to work on individual problems that the players have encountered. The Cats will continue what they have been doing in the past and keep up the energy, Kim said.

Last year the team finished 10th, which was not enough to qualify for the NCAA National Championships. The difficulty of advancing did not come from one big problem, Kim said. Instead, it was smaller obstacles that made the difference of a few strokes at various times and caused NU trouble.

Though the Cats have not participated in nationals since 2000, Kim said the team feels ready for regionals.

“More than nervous (we’re) excited because we know that we are more than capable than making it to nationals.”

Reach Franklin Kao at [email protected]