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 JACK ROSSI
IOWA CITY, Iowa — After nearly a month without a tournament, the University of Iowa women’s golf team tees off today at the UNC Tar heel Invitational and that time off looks to benefit the Hawkeyes.
In fact, the hiatus may have been more than enough.
“It felt a little long about a week ago,” said Iowa head coach Megan Menzel. “I feel like this past week the intensity has been up, we have gotten some good work in, and things are starting to come back together.”
Some of these things included working on other parts of their game to strengthen it.
“After playing two tournaments we have a lot of data to see where we are weak,” Menzel said. “We’ve been hammering wedges, which is something we constantly do. Individually, each person has been focused on two to three things and I think that has helped.”
Iowa last competed in the Mercedes-Benz Championships on Sept. 18-19 where the team carded its second straight top-10 54-hole score in program history with an 888, which is tied for ninth in school history. Iowa’s 879 at the Branch Law Firm Invitational is tied for fifth all-time.
The Hawkeyes will look to make it three straight top 10 54-hole scores this weekend and have the added benefit of this its first three-day tournament of the fall.
“Three day tournaments are nice because you have a chance to get back together, talk about the day, and adjust to the course,” Menzel said. “During 36-hole days, sometimes you may miss something or you don’t perform well and you can’t make many adjustments.”
This provides the team the perfect opportunity to add a wrinkle to its lineup this weekend with the debut of freshman Stephanie Herzog in the No. 5 spot.
“It’s going to be fun for Stephanie to go out there and do good things in her first outing,” Menzel said. “She played a ton of golf this summer and has been competing for the last six weeks on this roster. She is ready to go and do good things.”
A challenge for Herzog and the Hawkeyes will be playing in the tournament for the first time, while competing on one of North Carolina’s top 10 courses.
“It’s the same designer as the course we played at last year at the Landfall Tradition,” Menzel said. “It is open off the tee and those are always well bunkered courses. We will also adjust to chipping off Bermuda grass, but once we get that figured out we will be in good shape.”
The UNC Tar Heel Invitational tees off Friday and Saturday at 7:51 a.m. (CT) and concludes Sunday at 8:15 a.m. Live results throughout the tournament are available on golfstat.com.