Women’s Golf: Wildcats looking for bounce-back performance in final fall tournament
October 14, 2016
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The schedule is about to pause for Northwestern, but not until it wraps up its fall season with the Stanford Intercollegiate this weekend in Palo Alto, California.
The Wildcats are coming off a disappointing seventh-place finish at their home tournament, the Windy City Classic, and they’re hoping to rebound at Stanford.
“What we’re looking to do is finish on a high note, finish having put in a good showing at Stanford,” coach Emily Fletcher said. “Either way, I think it will set the tone for us going into the winter and as we spend some time preparing over the next couple of months.”
After the rough finish at home, NU went back to the basics in the past week and a half.
In preparation for their home tournament, the Cats spent a great deal of time on the course. But ahead of the trip west, most of the team’s practice has taken place on the range and putting greens.
“I’ve been getting a lot more reps in,” junior Hannah Kim said. “(Fletcher) really values us being at the range and just getting down to our fundamentals and working on our technique.”
That technical improvement will be necessary if NU is going to keep pace with the stacked field at Stanford.
In addition to the hosts, ranked sixth in the country at the end of last season and runners-up at the Windy City Classic, the tournament features six teams who finished in the top 10 at the end of last year, including top-ranked UCLA.
Besides these heavyweights, four more top-25 teams from last year will be in the 16-team field, including defending NCAA champion Washington.
This time, however, the Cats won’t have home course advantage, instead taking on the top teams in the country over 2,000 miles from campus.
“It’s another strong field,” Fletcher said, “but an opportunity for us to compete against the best teams in the country, so it will be important.”
Last year, NU took fourth at Stanford, 22 strokes behind the first-place hosts. Kim turned in one of her many impressive performances of the year, as she finished tied for fourth individually.
Kim is coming off an impressive seventh place individual finish at last week’s Windy City Classic and, after leading the Cats in last year’s tournament, she’ll have high expectations for herself.
But golf isn’t the only thing on Kim’s mind this week.
“The biggest challenge this week is going to be the schoolwork, being in the middle of midterm week,” Kim said. “In terms of golf, it is what it is.”