Panthers battle weather, tie for first at Wolverine Invite

Head Coach Joe Vogel said he was pleased his team was able to overcome the weather in Michigan to get the win. (Beacon File Photo)

Steven Rowell/ Contributing Writer

The women’s golf season is off to a good start after a win in their season opener at the Wolverine Invitational last weekend up in Ann Arbor, Mich.

Battling cold temperatures and some rainfall, FIU tied with Michigan for first place. Both teams had a combined team score of 78-over-par. Xavier University, Illinois State University and Eastern Michigan University finished not too far behind with each team having a team score of 81-over-par.

Head Coach Joe Vogel said he was pleased his team was able to overcome the weather in Michigan to get the win. (Beacon File Photo)

On the first day, FIU had a score of 312 which was tied for second place, on the second day, FIU posted a score of 306, the low team score of the day. The Panthers didn’t close on as strong of a note, posting a score of 312.

“It was a pretty difficult weekend, weather-wise, ran into some pretty cold temperatures. Each morning when we teed off, it was about 45 degrees and it rained a lot,” Head Coach Joe Vogel said. “That’s pretty difficult in that sense. This was a survival test more than anything.”

Meghan MacLaren, one of four freshmen, helped lead the way for the Panthers. MacLaren finished individually in a three-way tie with Eastern Michigan player Alyssa Kwon and Michigan golfer Alicia Weber at 14-over-par for the tournament.

“She played very well, she really helped to hold us in there,” Vogel said. “She’s a very talented player, her first two rounds were good. Didn’t play too well on the last day, but I have big expectations for her. The sky is the limit for her.”

Vogel started junior Shelby Coyle as his number one for last weekend. She finished one stroke back of MacLaren at 15-over-par. Vogel feels that Coyle, who was a Sun Belt Women’s Gold All-Conference selection last year, will have a great year and also expects big things from Coyle.

Team Captain Tania Tare played in the invitational with an arm injury. She posted individual scores of 82, 79, and 75 and finished 23-over-par.

“She has a pretty severe arm injury that she is playing with right now, and she has been getting treatment, but wants to continue to play and we will continue to use her as long as she is able,” Vogel said.

With the Wolverine Invitational in the books, Vogel and the Panthers will look ahead to the Johnie Imes Invitational in Columbia, Mo. on Oct. 1 and Oct. 2. Last year the Panthers finished in fourth place. This year, Vogel feels they can have a better result in the event.

“The tournament field isn’t quite as strong as last year, but it is stronger than the event we just went to, hopefully the weather will be better too,” Vogel said. “Hopefully we will be balanced, and that we get more out of our three, four, and five players this week, that’s going to really help us. I have high expectations for them this week, if the girls can make their shots and be on pace. I think we can do very well.”

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