Women’s Golf: Wildcats putt way to middle of the pack

Emily Drewry

The Wildcats paid no mind to national rankings this weekend at the Bryan National Collegiate in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Northwestern shot a 32-over 896, good enough for an eighth place finish in the 17-team field. The Cats shot their way ahead of five higher-ranked teams after trimming four strokes off Saturday’s second-round score.

Coach Emily Fletcher commended the team’s strong play across the board in such a challenging field of teams.

“It was one of those weekends where everybody had moments where they did something significant,” she said.

The Cats battled through windy conditions on the first day, and Fletcher said the team dealt with the imperfect weather well.

“We got off to a great start after the first day, ” she said, “and at one of the most prestigious tournaments in the country, I was very pleased.”

Freshman Brittany Mai and sophomore Devon Brown matched each other shot for shot to lead the team with matching scores of 9-over 225 to earn a tie for 25th place.

“We’re getting to the point where we’re minimizing the gap for more improvement,” Mai said, “and the hard work is starting to pay off.”

The team fought for a solid score Friday through strong putting, which helped the Cats take the lead after 18 holes.

However, they struggled to find their rhythm Saturday, where the short game became inconsistent and problems emerged with pitching and chipping. The short game was also an area of weakness for the Cats at the Mountain View Collegiate last week.

Fletcher said these difficulties create a situation where the Cats weren’t taking care of “one of the most straightforward areas of the game.”

The Cats were able to work out kinks in the short game and remain focused to claw out a strong finish to the weekend Sunday. With only four strokes separating fourth place finishers Ohio State and North Carolina from the Cats, teams were packed tightly into the top ten.

The Cats fought their way ahead of fellow Big Ten foe Michigan State (12th) for the first time this season, a feat that leaves the team with good progress to build on.

“It obviously gives our girls confidence going into the Big Tens,” said Fletcher.

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