Golf teams look to build on early meets
The Augustana women’s golf team kicked off its season with a pair of meets early this month.
The Vikings earned a fourth-place finish at the Central Region Fall Preview Sept. 6-7 in Olathe, Kan. with a score of 627. Central Oklahoma won by shooting a 611.
At the University of Indianapolis Fall Invitational Sept. 12-13, the Vikings shot 622, good for a 10th place finish at the Carmel, Ind. tournament.
Juniors Emily Israelson and Kali Trautman have led the way for the Vikings, earning the NSIC’s first two Women’s Golfer of the Week awards for their hot starts.
Trautman earned the honor for her performance at the Central Region Preview, finishing sixth out of 90 golfers with an 11-over-par 155.
Israelson shot a seven-over-par 151 two weeks later to place 20th of the 93 golfers at the University of Indianapolis Invitational.
Though members of the team think there’s room for improvement, they’re excited about the team’s potential.
“Placing fourth at the regional preview was disappointing,” Israelson said. “But it was a wake-up call to our team that we need to practice and work harder in order to compete at a high level.”
Trautman agreed, adding that the team needs to work on its short game and putting.
Senior Marisa Toivonen, a two-time All-American and reigning NSIC Golfer of the Year is out of eligibility, but the Vikings return the core of a team that won the conference and super region championships last year: Israelson, Trautman, senior Jordan Bormann and junior Sierra Langlie, all of whom finished in the top-66 at the national meet last spring.
The team is mostly a mix of seasoned veterans and freshman. Head coach Peggy Kirby said the veterans have done a good job of transitioning the freshmen into one of Augustana’s most decorated sports programs.
“The upperclassmen have embraced all of [the freshmen],” Kirby said. “We have a great team dynamic for the first few weeks of the season.”
Postseason play isn’t until spring, but Israelson said the fall is important to work out any mental issues.
“It would be nice if the team could win the next three tournaments and have confidence heading into the spring season,” she said.
The men’s side also wishes it had performed better in its first two meets.
The Vikings tied for third at the three-round Battle of the Falls with a score of 914. They followed that with a sixth place finish at the two-round Bemidji State invitational, shooting a 610.
Junior Ted Urch wasn’t satisfied with the team’s results.
“It wasn’t our top performance,” Urch said. “None of us have clicked at the same time.”
The men’s squad makes its return to the links Sunday in the St. Cloud State Invtational.
The women’s team will also compete at the Southwest Minnesota State Mustang Invitational on Sunday.