IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa women’s golf team heads into the 2017 Big Ten Championships focused on consistency.
“We’ve been close all year, but we haven’t been able to put it all together,” said UI head coach Megan Menzel. “We know we have the ability, we know we have the players that can get it done, and now it’s a matter of getting out there and putting together three solid rounds.
“It doesn’t have to be perfect. We just need to turn in three consistently good rounds.”
After finishing in a tie for 10th (910; +46) at the inaugural Hawkeye El-Tigre Invitational in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, on April 2-4, the Hawkeyes have utilized two weeks off to improve their short game.
“We don’t usually have this two week opportunity to get ready,” said Menzel. “It has been so nice. We’ve spent a lot of time on the putting green and with the wedges. Besides that we have just been playing a lot. It has been nice for our team to be able to play some holes in good conditions in order to build some confidence.”
The 2017 Big Ten Championships will be contested at TPC River’s Bend in Cincinnati, Ohio. Six Hawkeyes will compete with the four lowest scores counting.
Junior Jessica Ip will be in the No. 1 spot with freshman Sophie Liu following at No. 2. Senior Jessie Sindlinger, junior Morgan Kukla, sophomore Shawn Rennegarbe, and junior Elisa Suarez will round out the Iowa lineup.
“We don’t have much to lose going into this, so we might as well go out and play the best we can to try to win a Big Ten Championship,” said Sindlinger. “We aren’t going in highly ranked, so we want to turn some heads why we are there. We know we can. We just have to put it all together.”
Sindlinger, Ip, and Liu have each notched top-finishes for the Hawkeyes this spring, while Ip and Liu have each registered top-10 finishes. Ip tied for fifth (216; +3) at the BYU Entrada Classic on March 13-14, while Liu finished 10th at the Westbrook Spring Invitational (215; -1) on Feb. 26-27.
“I’m excited to compete at the Big Ten Championships for the first time,” said Liu. “I’ve heard good things about the tournament and course, so I’m excited to get out there and play.
“We are going into this weekend with the mindset that we can win it all. We know we have the skills it takes to do so. We have to take it one round at a time and not defeat ourselves.”
The Hawkeyes open the 2017 Big Ten Championships with a 7:30 p.m. (CT) shotgun start on Friday. The meet continues with 7:30 a.m. shotgun starts on Saturday and Sunday.
“You can’t win a tournament on the first day, but you can lose it,” said Kukla. “If we turn in a solid round on the first day, then we know what we are capable of the next couple of days. If we can put three good rounds together, we will be in good shape this weekend.”