Sept. 5, 2012
Bearcat golf looks to improve on record-breaking year
By David Boyce
Practice started last Friday for the Northwest Missouri State women’s golf team. The Bearcats will compete for the first time this season Thursday in the two-day William Jewell Cardinal Invitational at Cardinal Hill Golf Course in Liberty, Mo.
Without a break, the Bearcats will head up to Lamoni, Iowa on Saturday and compete in the Graceland Yellowjacket Fall Invitational on Saturday.
That’s a lot of competitive golf without practice.
Despite the limited tee time, coach Pat McLaughlin expects a solid showing from his team because they have had extensive tee time on their own during the summer.
“I’m hoping we can win our first two tournaments,” McLaughlin said. “I think we have the capabilities of starting off very strong and keeping the momentum going.
“We’ve set some team goals and expectations at our team meeting that I think will be a real challenge to the team, but also I think they are obtainable.
“We are going to go out in each tournament, not only looking to win the tournament but continue to improve our overall stroke average and consistency so that we are competitive with all the teams in conference and region.”
Sophomore Steph Carteris is one reason why McLaughlin is confident the Bearcats will start strong. Charteris is coming off a season in which she finished third in the MIAA Championships and earned Freshman of the Year honors.
Charteris wants to improve her scores from last year and continue to keep pushing to the top of Northwest golf team. She spent a lot of time working on her game this summer.
“I want to come out playing well,” Charteris said. “Coming off the summer it is a lot easier coming into the fall season than the spring season. I want to have a couple of good rounds to get the season started right.”
The Bearcats will push each other. Charteris had a phenomenal first season of collegiate golf and she wasn’t the best golfer on the team. That honor belonged to Cassie Lowell, who as a sophomore, won the MIAA Championships by eight strokes.
In the first few practice rounds, McLaughlin has already seen the competition within his team.
“We had six girls within four strokes of each other from top to bottom,” he said.
Two other players to watch are Tess Edwards, the lone senior on the team and junior Kristina D’Angela.
From all indications, the Bearcats are poised to have another record-breaking season.
“In the first tournament, I want to see consistent play, smart play and for them to have fun and play relax. When they do that, they play their best,” McLaughlin said.
Charteris is ready for the season to start. She is no longer a rookie wondering about the competitive level of collegiate golf.
“It is not as nerve-wracking as last year, but you are kind of nervous in the first tournament because it sets you up for the whole season,” she said.
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