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 BRANDEE BRITT
IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa women’s golf team enters the 2016 season ready to build upon a historical 2015 campaign.
As a team last season, the Hawkeyes registered 11 of the top-15 team performances for 18 holes, and broke program records for 36-hole and 54-hole team scores. Iowa also shattered the team scoring average record, averaging 73.2 strokes-per-round and besting the previous mark by three strokes (2010; 76.3).
While last year’s success brought excitement, the Hawkeyes are eager to get back on the course and accomplish more.
“We’ve had a solid first three weeks of practice, and everyone has done a good job of getting themselves ready for competition,” said UI head coach Megan Menzel. “The preparation started many months ago, and this team has improved up and down the lineup.
“Our team is working hard on believing in themselves and each other in order to reach our lofty goals this season. The goal is always to win, but we know that is not where our focus can be in order to play our best.”
Although the Hawkeyes lose NCAA Regional qualifier Amy Ihm to graduation, they return six letterwinners from last year’s squad, including senior Jessie Sindlinger. The Charles City, Iowa, native posted the second-lowest scoring average in school history last season (73.7). She competed in all 10 tournaments, notching six top-20 finishes during her junior campaign.
This year, Menzel looks for her lone senior to continue to set an example with her work ethic.
“Jessie leads by example, she’s a hard worker, and does a lot behind the scenes for this team,” said Menzel. “She has been a solid in our lineup the last three years, and I would not be surprised if we see an impressive senior campaign from her.”
The Hawkeyes also welcome three newcomers to the team in freshmen Sophie Liu, Shawn Rennegarbe, and Sarah Overton. Liu, a native of Vancouver, British Columbia, was one of just six freshmen named to the Big Ten Preseason Watch List last month.
“Sophie has already made an impact on our team and she has only been on campus for three weeks,” said Menzel. “She brings a great attitude and a strong desire to be the best. Her teammates are glad to have her in the lineup. She brings a lot of experience from playing high level junior golf.”
The Hawkeyes begin play at the Red Raider Invitational in Lubbock, Texas, today. The tournament is the first stop on a schedule that takes the team to eight different states and Mexico.
“We have the opportunity to play some great golf courses, and we are going to make sure we prepare well and enjoy the experiences along the way,” said Menzel. “Our slogan this year is ‘The Journey.’ It’s a reminder to believe in ourselves and recognize the great opportunity we have in front of us this season. We are going to stay out of our own way this year and enjoy the journey.”