Ready for Impact

Nov. 2, 2015

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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. To receive daily news from the Iowa Hawkeyes, sign up HERE.

By MEGAN ROWLEY

IOWA CITY, Iowa — After a record-breaking fall season, the University of Iowa women’s golf team is ready to make an impact this spring.

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“We feel good about the start that we had this fall,” said UI head coach Megan Menzel. “We saw a lot of growth this year. We were very consistent as a team, and that is going to help us be competitive this spring.”

The Hawkeyes used their home course advantage to claim the team title at the Diane Thomason Invitational on Sept. 12-13. The team carded a 54-hole total of 888 (298-300-290), claiming the first team title for the program since April 11, 2012 (884, Wyoming Cowgirl Classic).

“Starting off with a win gave us a lot of momentum heading into the rest of our tournaments,” said junior Jessie Sindlinger. “This team has a lot of trust in each other. We know that everyone is capable of putting up good scores and coming through.”

Iowa used that momentum to notch a third-place finish at the Johnie Imes Invitational on Sept. 28-29. The team carded an even-par 864, breaking the 54-hole program record of 879 — previously set at the Westbrook Spring Invitational in 2012 — by 15 strokes.

Amy Ihm paced the Hawkeyes, posting a career-best two-round 138 (-6; 68, 70). The senior’s score tied the program record for individual performance for 36 holes previously set by Kristi Cardwell in 2012. Her efforts led to Big Ten Golfer of the Week honors — the first individual conference honor for the team since 2013 (Lauren English).

While the improvement is now showing on the course, Ihm says it all began over the summer.

“We all bought in,” said Ihm. “We didn’t like how we finished tournaments last year. Over the summer we decided that we wanted to be a winning program. We made the necessary changes, and now we are getting it done on the course.”

In a sport where it is common for individuals to shine, it has been the team aspect of the game that has benefited the Hawkeyes most. Five of Iowa’s nine golfers notched at least one top-10 finish in four fall tournaments, including Ihm, Sindlinger, and sophomores Jessica Ip, Anna Kim, and Elisa Suarez.

“This year we are all close,” said Sindlinger. “We are all best friends and we work more like a family. I think that’s a huge part of the success we had this fall. We all love to be around each other.”

With a record-setting fall under their belt, the Hawkeyes are ready to take the next step this spring.

“Ultimately our goal is to get to NCAA Regionals,” said Menzel. “We’ve put ourselves in a good place. We are going to have to come out and play well this spring, but this team is capable of doing great things.”

The Hawkeyes kick off the spring season at the Westbrook Spring Invitational in Peoria, Arizona, on Feb. 21-22.

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