Jackson Wolek / Staff Writer
After a four month layoff from the last time they participated in a tournament, the women’s golf team played three rounds at the Weston Hills Country Club in the Sir Pizza Cards Challenge from Feb. 27-28.
FIU finished 11th, tied for their worst placing this season since the Susie Maxwell Berning Classic in Oklahoma on October 2011.
Reigning Sun Belt Freshman of the Year Shelby Coyle completed the tournament shooting the best for the Panthers, going seven over par with a score of 223. She came in 12th place out of 81 golfers on the field.
“I started off really well and then I just had problems with my swing,” said Coyle. “Considering it’s the first tournament I played this spring, I played decent. I can’t complain.”
The Panthers, who came into the tournament ranked 60th in the nation, have now fallen to 41-25 on the year and have yet to win over a top 25 team.
“We only had one player that I think shot her average for the week, so that means we had six players who didn’t play very well,” said head coach Joe Vogel. “It’s pretty disappointing from that standpoint so I’m just hoping that we shake the dust off and try to get ready and play Notre Dame out in Arizona.”
In the first round FIU shot a combined 309 with Coyle leading the way, shooting a 73 with the par set at 72. Yolecci Jimenez shot second result for the Panthers in round one with a 76, while Katie Mundy (79), Monica Miller (81) and Tania Tare (85) rounded out the top five.
The second round brought the best results for the team, with a total score of 303. This time Mundy led the effort with a 73 of her own with Coyle shooting a 76, Miller at 76, Jimenez at 78 and Tare at 81.
“We just didn’t really get off to a good start and never really turned the corner,” Vogel said. “We were the fourth ranked team coming into this field so you figure we got to do fourth or better, anything less than that it’s really not a good thing.”
The Panthers were unable to make up for the slow start on the first day in the third round and fell behind even more by shooting another 309.
For the second time Coyle led the round shooting two over par with a 74. Makayla Mier shot 75, Laura Stempfle a 76, Tare a 76, Jimenez a 77, Mundy an 82 and Miller an 83.
What the Panthers didn’t do particularly well in was their short game, something Coyle said they are always working at.
“Usually short game is what we’re always striving to work on, it’s the most important part of our game,” Coyle said. “Definitely for this tournament that’s probably what we needed to work on, and it didn’t help that it was windy the first day, so everything got affected.”
The team ended shooting 57 over par for the entire tournament with no individual getting under par.
They will play in three more tournaments before going to the Sun Belt tournament from April 16-18 at Muscle Shoals, Ala.