Andy Sneddon, CMUChippewas.com
MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. - Last time out, the Central Michigan women's golf team turned in a record-setting performance.
On Monday, the Chippewas will look to make more strides as they begin play in the 54-hole Rocket Classic hosted by Toledo at Catawba Island Club in Port Clinton, Ohio.
"I look at each player and I can definitely see the confidence in certain players and their practice this week has been good, but you're always working on getting better," CMU Cheryl Stacy said.
Last week at the Ball State Cardinal Classic, the Chippeaws turned in a 312 team score during the final round. The 312 was a team record, bettering the previous mark, 316, they had posted one day previous.
All four Chippewas - Kristen Wolfe, Natalie Johnson, Bria Colosky and Holly Hines - recorded a sub-80 score during the record-setting round.
"I think the expectations are changing and I think each player knows they've got to step up and keep up," Stacy said. "They're thinking differently. They're thinking more about the shot, especially if they're in trouble, and that's helping to get the scores lower."
Stacy said it has helped that she has structured practices to simulate tournament conditions, and, instead of simply having her players go out and hit balls or play holes, she designs specific situations they are likely to face in a tournament.
"We pick different scenarios," she said. "We'll go to a par 3 and they all have to hit the green, every one of them in a row, or we'll start all over. Or we'll put a ball down and they have to get up and down from just off the green, or they have to get a 30-foot lag putt inside a (small) square constructed from clubs (positioned) around the hole."
While the weather has taken an inclement turn in Mount Pleasant, the forecast calls for sunny skies and highs around 70 in northeastern Ohio.
The Chippewas have two tournaments remaining after this week, the MAC Fall Preview Oct. 11-12, and the Dayton Flyers Fall Invitational Oct. 19-20.
Competing in increasingly difficult weather is something the Chippewas know they must prepare for, Stacy said.
"We're going to try to get out in all the inclement weather," she said. "We need to simulate tournaments, get them used to that. We just try to embrace the bad weather and know that everybody's got to play in it. If we do that, maybe we can use it to our advantage."
The Rocket Classic comprises 36 holes on Monday and 18 on Tuesday. Joining the Chippewas and host Toledo are Bowling Green, Cleveland State, Detroit, Illinois-Chicago, Indiana State, Loyola of Chicago, Ohio, Valparaiso and Western Illinois.