Augustana Spring Fling Invite set for spring break in California
After a break from the fall season, the Augustana women’s golf team is squaring up for its spring season.
The women closed the fall season by winning their last three tournaments, including the Midwest Classic Golf Tournament in Missouri.
“We struggled a little bit in the beginning of the season,” junior Sierra Langlie said. “[But] we ended on a high note. Hopefully we can pick up where we left off.”
Their first two tournaments were not met with certainty, the team placing fourth and tenth, but Langlie is confident the team will be successful in the spring season.
Looking back at her past two years as a Viking, she noted the team usually plays better in the spring after the break.
Freshman McKayla Poppens looks at the break as a bittersweet aspect of golf.
“I definitely think that being away from golf is hard,” Poppens said. “But what good comes from taking a break is how myself and teammates are able to love the game even more.”
Due to weather, the team practiced at indoor facilities and on golfing simulators. Although impacting practices, head coach Peggy Kirby does not look at the weather as an excuse to slow down.
“We get outside to practice if it’s not too cold and still have to compete in crazy conditions in the spring,” Kirby said. “But it makes us tougher and better.”
Augustana had a one week window of good weather, allowing it to play a round outside.
In addition to regular practices, Kirby includes yoga in the team’s practices.
“With yoga comes flexibility, and that’s really important to the golf swing,” Poppens said.
To start the spring season, the Vikings will travel to Palm Desert, Calif. They will host the Augustana Spring Fling Invite March 16-17.
In California, the team will face last year’s national champions, Rollins University, as well as national runner-up Indianapolis University. Although pitted against highly ranked teams, Kirby is hopful for her team.
“This will be our first tournament since October, so the girls will have to be full of confidence and will compete very well,” Kirby said.
Toward the end of the season in May, the Vikings will host the NCAA Super Regional at the Minnehaha Country Club in Sioux Falls.
Only the top 12 teams in the region will be allowed to play in the tournament. Being the reigning regional champions for the last two years, Kirby is sure that the team will find the hole.
“The girls know how to compete and win, so I’m super excited to get these experienced players back out on the course,” Kirby said.
Langlie said winning regionals the past two years does put pressure on her, but she tries to not let that impact her playing and instead focuses on the strengths of the team.
“We’re a really strong group of girls,” Langlie said. “We’re looking forward to getting back into the swing of things.”