by Sena Hughes
The Whitworth women’s golf team finished second of three Northwest Conference teams competing at the Whitman NWC Preview on Saturday in Richland, Wash. Senior Darby Moberg led the Pirates individually, tying for second place overall.
The weekend was not an ideal one for Whitworth, who finished second to Whitman College and ahead of Pacific University. Head coach Katie Fuqua said that Saturday was not a good round of golf for her team, which she knows has great potential.
Earlier in the week, several team members were ill and had to trade in practice for doctor’s appointments. Lack of rest and practice contributed to the disappointing appearance.
“I think the conditions were there and they could’ve performed well but [didn’t] just because we weren’t well prepared,” Fuqua said.
Though dissatisfied by the performance, the Bucs did get an opportunity to play at Columbia Point Golf Course, which will be the host of next weekend’s NWC championship tournament.
“It was good to figure out the course and get the kinks out before the big tournament,” junior Emily Guthrie said.
Guthrie tied with freshman Nicole Lomax for seventh place individually and second place for the Pirates on Saturday. Both golfers hope to earn first team all-NWC honors, which will depend on their performances next weekend.
Whitworth’s hopes are high for the conference competition. Aware that last Saturday was not a good indicator of their potential and ability, they are optimistic for what is to come.
“Our confidence is pretty high just because we’ve played the course,” Guthrie said. “The weather’s supposed to be nice. Individually, we all know what we can do.”
The mental element will be key for the golfers next weekend. Guthrie mentioned the challenge of having approximately five hours to think about anything, yet the necessity of focusing of golf.
“There’s a lot of time to think, Guthrie said. “You just have to focus on golf and forget about other things.”
Fuqua also mentioned her desire for the team to be confident mentally.
“I want them to have more confidence in their ability,” Fuqua said. “They just need to be mentally prepared, it’s not that they don’t have the skills to do well, they just need to do it.”
The nature of championships is that they are emotional competitions. Fuqua stated the reality of the end of a career for the seniors and then the pressure on the whole team to finish the season well in general.
“I think they’re excited; I think they’re anxious. [It’s] a big tournament and they know that,” Fuqua said. “There are a lot of emotions I can’t pinpoint.”
Regardless, the Pirates are energized and ready for the next big stop.
“It’s kind of ‘go big or go home,’” Guthrie said. “That’s our attitude.”
Contact Sena Hughes at firstname.lastname@example.org.