Golf teams battle to first, second place

The Taylor women's golf team poses after claiming first place at the Whistling Straights Championship in October.

Alec Tebben | Echo

The women’s and men’s golf teams wrapped up the fall portion of their season with respective first and second place finishes in the Whistling Straits Championship.

The tournament, played on Oct. 22–23, was held at the Whistling Straits golf course near Sheboygan, Wisconsin.

The women finished the first day of the tournament in second place. Head Coach Cam Andry said the team put up several large numbers and suffered from some mental errors.

The men were tied for fifth place after the first day. Junior Nate Morris felt they may have placed too much pressure on themselves that day. Texas Wesleyan University, a top-ranked team in the NAIA, caused a lot of that pressure with their presence in the tournament.

The second day of the tournament saw cold and windy weather.

“You might be in an area where there’s trees blocking you, but . . . the green is open,” said senior Elizabeth Jackson. “You have to know where the wind’s blowing at different angles . . . so it takes a lot more focus.”

The women knew they had to play well the second day. Fortunately for the team, they embrace bad weather and play well in it.

“It’s kind of become part of our identity that the worse the conditions, the better we bring it,” Andry said. “And I don’t even know that that’s necessarily true, but I think believing it’s half the battle” Andry said.

The women’s first place finish kept the team undefeated in the fall.

The men, who played on a different course at Whistling Straits, saw even more wind the second day as they played by the shore of Lake Michigan.

Their first nine holes were straight into the wind, but the wind was at their back after that. Andry encouraged them to accept the difficult conditions in those first nine holes then make up ground when the wind was at their backs.

They were able to do just that. Andry thought his team showed toughness and grit that day.

“When it’s 30 mile, 40 mile an hour wind and 42 degrees, then you find out how tough you are,” Andry said.