Iowa Ready to Tackle French Lick

April 27, 2012

Editor’s Note: The following first appeared in the University of Iowa’s Hawk Talk Daily, an e-newsletter that offers a daily look at the Iowa Hawkeyes, delivered free each morning to thousands of fans of the Hawkeyes worldwide.

IOWA CITY, Iowa — It isn’t Finkbine Golf Course, but the University of Iowa women’s golf team has firsthand knowledge of French Lick Resort, the site of this week’s 2012 Big Ten Golf Championships.

The Hawkeyes competed at the Donald Ross Course in October at the Lady Northern Intercollegiate, finishing 10th with a three-round score of 926 (307-309-310). UI head coach Megan Menzel says that experience will benefit her squad heading into postseason competition.

“It is really important to have played there already,” said Menzel, who is in her first season with the Hawkeyes. “Any time you can see a golf course the first time and learn from it, you can see where you made your mistakes. It is huge to come back, to try to visualize the holes and see if you can play it better the second time.”

“I feel like the team has kept their confidence pretty high, and they are eager to get out there and play again this weekend.”
UI head coach Megan Menzel

Iowa heads to French Lick, Ind., with confidence. The Hawkeyes claimed the team title — the program’s first since 2010 — at the Wyoming Cowgirl Classic on April 9-11. The squad followed up that performance with an eighth place showing at the Lady Buckeye Invitational, shaving 47 strokes off the previous year’s total.

“I was really impressed with how we handled adversity last weekend,” said Menzel. “The Lady Buckeye is such a challenging course. We walked away realizing we have some things to work on in our games, but we’ve gotten better about not beating ourselves up so much.

“I feel like the team has kept their confidence pretty high, and they are eager to get out there and play again this weekend.”

Menzel likes the mindset the Hawkeyes have leading up to the 72-hole conference tournament.

“They’re pretty confident,” said Menzel. “I like the conversations the team is having. One of our team goals is to come out and play with more passion, be a little more assertive on every hole. At times we have done that well. In Arizona we had a great result.”

Menzel is looking for her team to come together and click collectively.

“We haven’t all really been on,” she said. “Even when we won in Arizona, Chelsea (Harris) helped us with that fourth score, but she didn’t play like a No. 1 player. They’re kind of a wildcard. I don’t feel like we have put it all together, and that’s what they kind of realize too.”

Both the men’s and women’s championships will be held at the French Lick Resort today through Sunday. It is the first time that both championships will be held simultaneously and on a neutral site.

“It is a great golf course,” said Menzel. “There are definitely some rolling hills and the greens are going to be challenging. There are a lot of undulations in the green and some pretty tough pin placements that we’ll see, but I don’t think it is anything we haven’t seen this year. I’m excited to tackle it again this time around.”

Iowa begins play on the 10th hole today at 8 a.m. (CT). The Hawkeyes play 36 holes today, 18 tomorrow and close out the tournament with 18 Sunday. Fans can follow the action live on