Andy Sneddon, CMUChippewas.com
MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. – The Central Michigan women’s golf team will play its penultimate event of the 2016 spring season this weekend when it goes to the Dolores Black Falcon Invitational in Bowling Green, Ohio.
The Chippewas will join seven other teams in the two-day, 36-hole, stroke-play event at Stone Ridge Golf Club, which plays to par 72 over 5,960 yards. It begins on Saturday and concludes on Sunday.
The field comprises CMU and host Bowling Green along with Ashland, Cleveland State, Boston University, Cleveland State, Dartmouth, Detroit, Eastern Michigan, Ferris State, Findlay, Illinois-Chicago, Northern Kentucky, Niagara, Ohio and Youngstown State.
The Chippewas are coming off a 15th-place finish at the Georgia State John Kirk Panther Intercollegiate in Stockbridge, Ga., nearly two weeks ago.
This weekend’s tournament is CMU’s first of the spring season that will be played in the Midwest. The Chippewas’ other events have been in Arizona, Florida or Georgia.
The final event is the Mid-American Conference Championships in two weeks in Noblesville, Ind.
“We’ve got to get acclimated to the weather here because we’ve been playing in pretty decent weather,” CMU coach Cheryl Stacy said. “The golf course will play wet, it’ll play longer and you’ve just got to deal with the weather. That’s where you have to be mentally tough.”
The Chippewas started the three-round Panther Intercollegiate with a 345 team score. They closed with a 319, an improvement of 26 shots.
Stacy said the tournament was a good lesson for her relatively young team, which includes just one upper classman, senior Hannah Matthies, who shot 90 in her opening round at the Panther and closed with a career-best 82.
“They were putting way too much pressure on themselves to shoot a low score in that first round,” Stacy said. “It’s overused, but it’s one shot at a time. You can’t think about the round or the hole, you just can’t think about an end result and a score, and have that score in your head.
“You just have to relax and play golf and all of a sudden you’ve got a good round.”
And while the Chippewas closed with a 319, there is plenty of room for improvement, not only this weekend at Bowling Green, but beyond, Stacy said.
“If we can shoot 315 or better that’s a good day for us,” Stacy said.
The Chippewas are averaging 327.1 in the spring season after posting a 326.7 average last fall. Natalie Johnson leads the Chippewas with an 80.8 average this spring.