Women’s Golf: Northwestern hits local course for Windy City Collegiate Classic

Joseph Wilkinson, Reporter

Women’s Golf

Home games are a part of life for most Northwestern sports teams, but for the women’s golf squad, there’s only one chance each year to play in front of a home crowd.

After trips to New Mexico and Tennessee to start the season, the Wildcats tee up in their lone home tournament of the year this week, the Windy City Collegiate Classic, and are looking to defend a share of last year’s title.

“The girls definitely look forward to playing at home and having friends and family come to town,” coach Emily Fletcher said. “We only get to do this one time a year, so I know the girls are looking forward to it and hope to leverage it to our advantage.”

Although NU doesn’t practice at the host Glen View Club daily throughout the year, the club has allowed the Cats to practice there every day this week in preparation for the tournament.

Last year, NU used the home course to its advantage, tying with Georgia and Arizona for the championship, one of four tournaments in which the Cats won either outright or shared titles.

“There’s quite a bit of slope in the greens at Glen View Club,” Fletcher said. “If we’re able to manage that and have some good lag putting, make some putts, I think that will be critical to our success this week.”

Senior Kacie Komoto will be playing in her final home tournament this week. She finished tied for fourth at last year’s edition of this event, best on the team.

Komoto is the only senior starter on the team, and she said playing her last tournament at home is bittersweet.

“I feel like this being my last one hasn’t really settled in yet, but I’m excited,” Komoto said. “I feel good about the team this year.”

The tournament boasts a stacked field that includes six other top-10 teams from the end of last season. Both co-defending champions, Georgia and Arizona, will also be back to take another shot at the title.

Given the tough competition and a two-week layoff between tournaments, NU has spent plenty of time practicing on the course and in the range through on-and-off rain the last two weeks.

“We’ve seen Glen View play three or four different ways since we played it this preseason,” Fletcher said. “Early in preseason it played firm and faster, and we’re definitely not going to have that. It’s gonna play long and soft, which is going to allow you on the greens to be a little bit more aggressive.”

Given the anticipated challenges presented by the rain-soaked course, NU has tailored its practice methods to match the conditions.

With the course expected to play so long, junior Sarah Cho has focused on her tee-to-green play in an attempt to improve on last week’s 30th place finish at the Mason Rudolph Championship in Tennessee.

“There’s a couple holes that are a little bit tricky tee-shot-wise,” Cho said. “It was a little bit of a rough start for me last week, so I’m just trying to get back into it.”

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