May 1, 2008
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IOWA CITY, IA – In August, University of Iowa women’s golf Head Coach Kelly Crawford believed her team was capable of being among the top four teams in the conference. But after an eighth place finish at the Big Ten Championships this past weekend, Crawford gave another bold prediction.
“I think we can be in the top three next year,” Crawford said. “I look at the way we played down the stretch and I think it is an attainable goal. I’m excited to see how we progress in the off-season.”
Crawford witnessed the Hawkeyes play at their best during the second round of the Big Tens last Friday, when her team responded from a score of 325 in the first round to a score of 291 in the second. The remarkable 34 stroke difference, Crawford said, is something she was waiting to see from her team all year.
“That round was pretty awesome,” said Crawford. “I believe we could have put forth a performance like that all year. We’ve been certainly been capable.”
The Hawkeyes were paced all season by the breakout performance from junior Tyrette Metzendorf. The Winter Haven, FL, native broke numerous school records during her third year and finished third overall individually at the Big Ten Championships. She was also named Big Ten Women’s Golfer of the Week Feb. 13 for her performance at the Baja Invitational, an event which the Hawkeyes won.
However, Metzendorf, ranked 123rd in the nation, barely missed being invited to the NCAA Regional Championships and did not make first or second-team all-Big Ten. Crawford thinks that not getting those honors should give Metzendorf a little extra motivation for next season.
“Tyrette was our most consistent player this season, without question,” Crawford said. “But I don’t think she’s done all that she can do. If she puts in a little extra effort this off-season, I think she can be even better next year.”
Metzendorf broke three Iowa records this past season and finished in the individual Top 20 in nine tournaments. She now holds Iowa’s low individual performance for 72 holes after her four-round score of 295 at the Big Ten Championships. She also holds the Iowa record for low 18-hole round at the Big Ten Championships, when she shot a 70 in the second round last Friday. Finally, Metzendorf holds the Hawkeye record for low 18-hole round, shooting a 68 at the Mary Fossum Invitational back in September.
While Metzendorf took huge strides on the links this year, Crawford pointed out that other players stepped up as well. Junior Becky Quinby, freshman Brianna Coopman and freshman Laura Cilek also made strong contributions. Cilek was recently named Iowa’s recipient to the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award for women’s golf.
“Becky really started to play well during the last few tournaments,” Crawford said. “Brianna got some valuable experience playing in some tough tournaments in the spring, and Laura came in with limited competition and really battled. They all progressed well, they all have great attitudes and all three want to get better.”
Crawford also expects two incoming freshmen, Chelsea Harris (Normal, IL) and Ann Vrdolyak (Flossmoor, IL) to come in and compete for lineup spots immediately. Both have signed National Letters of Intent and plan on being on campus next fall.
“Finishing in eighth place this year was not our goal,” said Crawford. “We felt we could have been in the top four in the Big Ten. We’ll have a whole new look next season and I’m excited for it.”
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