Women’s Golf: Northwestern falters in home tournament


Daily file photo by Ben Pope

Janet Mao surveys the green. The junior and the Wildcats finished a disappointing ninth at the Windy City Collegiate.

Sophie Mann, Reporter

Women’s Golf

Despite an underwhelming team finish, Northwestern’s sophomores compiled strong performances at the Windy City College Classic, which ended Tuesday.

The Wildcats finished ninth in a field of 15, which wasn’t what coach Emily Fletcher hoped for in their highly-anticipated home event. Even with eight top-25 teams at the competition, Fletcher said she expected better from NU.

She blamed the Cats’ poor result on numerous mistakes, impatience and unexpected windiness at the aptly named classic.

“From our team’s perspective I was a little disappointed in our team’s play,” Fletcher said. “You certainly don’t anticipate you’d make those mistakes on a golf course we’ve played on … but that being said it’s one event. We’ll learn.”

But Fletcher said the event as a whole was a “raving success.” One of the highlights of the weekend was a night in downtown Chicago for all coaches and teams at the Under Armour Brand House, she said.

Even though NU didn’t perform as well as it had hoped, sophomores Brooke Riley and Louise McCulloch impressed. McCulloch, a Wilmette native, fielded the best scorecard of her college career with three birdies Tuesday.

“I kind of just took it shot by shot,” McCulloch said. “That was our whole team’s mentality. We didn’t want to get ahead of ourselves, even though we had played there a few more times. Just playing in the conditions made us better and hopefully we’re going to get a lot better before the next event.”

Riley enjoyed the Cats’ best individual showing, tying for 18th. Fletcher said the sophomore’s play was one of the event’s silver linings, especially against elite competition.

Riley said her improvement from last year made the tournament especially exciting.

“(It’s) awesome … to think back on last year and the progress I’ve made,” Riley said. “My coaches have put a lot of effort into me and my game. To see the progress of not playing for the team at all last year to being able to contribute … it’s just a really exciting time.”

McCulloch said she was also excited to see her hard work from spring and summer pay off. She said despite a disappointing result, the opportunity will help NU going forward, especially as it gears up for the Stanford Intercollegiate at the renowned Pebble Beach Golf Links in two weeks.

Riley and McCulloch agreed the past weekend will help prepare the Cats for what lies ahead. Fletcher said some of the disappointing moments gave NU good insight into the competition it will face going forward.

“You look back and you assess what we need to do better,” Fletcher said. “We’re disappointed with our play, but nothing to be down in the dumps about. We just got to keep getting better.”

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