Iowa women’s golf looks forward to fall season

The Hawkeyes will kick off the 2021-22 academic year with a series fall tournaments.


The Daily Iowan

Junior UI golfer, Shelby Philips practicing for an upcoming meet on September 16th, 2014 at Finkbine golf course. The women’s golf team competed with each other for their place in the meet. ({TheDailyIowan}/{AnnaKilzer})

Ethan Brander, Sports Reporter

After missing out on NCAA Regionals in the 2020-21 season, the Iowa women’s golf team will return to the links with renewed energy this fall.

“We definitely left the end of the season disappointed,” head coach Megan Menzel said. “But we have a group that is very hungry. We hope to see what greater things we can achieve next season.”

The Hawkeyes finished their season at the 2021 Big Ten Women’s Golf Championships at TPC River’s Bend in Cincinnati, Ohio, April 23-25. Iowa finished 10th out of 13 teams in the field with a 33-over-par 897.

But in the final round of the Big Ten Championships, now-sophomore Klara Wildhaber shot her second-lowest round as a Hawkeye with a one-under-par 71. In the 54-hole tournament, Wildhaber recorded the top finish of the Hawkeyes with teammate Morgan Goldstein — a six-over-par 222.

RELATED: Iowa women’s golf wins UNI Spring Invitational

In 2021-22, Menzel is confident in the Hawkeyes’ ability to turn around their scoring. Iowa has struggled, Menzel said, but internal competition has pushed the Hawkeyes to improve.

The Hawkeyes won one tournament in the 2020-21 season — the UNI Spring Invite at Pleasant Ridge Golf Course April 10-11. Iowa finished 20 strokes clear of competition with a 33-over-par 897.

“They definitely like to work as a unit,” Menzel said.  “But when you have people pushing you and getting accolades, you’d like to get them too.”

Sophomore Lea Zeitler was honored as the Big Ten Golfer of the Week on Feb. 17 after she carded a career-best 18-hole score of six-under-par 66 at the UNLV Rebel Beach Invitational in Las Vegas Feb. 15-16.

Iowa is bringing a young team into 2021-22 as many of the top-scoring Hawkeyes are underclassmen.

In 2020-21, Wildhaber averaged 73.90 strokes per 18 holes — good for the lowest on the team. Goldstein averaged 74.91 strokes per 18 holes, while incoming junior Jacquelyn Galloway averaged 75.74.

“Klara definitely probably stood out,” Menzel said. “Just because we didn’t have a fall season and as a freshman, coming out of the winter and COVID she really put together a nice spring campaign and really embraced some really important concepts about college golf.”

Galloway and Goldstein also had their best tournament finishes of their collegiate career in the 2020-21 season. Goldstein finished tied for second with Wildhaber at the UNI Spring Invite with a seven-over-par 223.

At the BYU Spring Classic March 15-16, Galloway finished second with a 36-hole score of two-under-par 142.

The Hawkeyes will be adding incoming freshman Paula Miranda to their young golf corps.

According to the American Junior Golf Association, Miranda is ranked 53rd in women’s amateur golf. Miranda also reached the semifinals of the United States Girls Junior Golf Championship at Columbia Golf Club in Chevy Chase, Maryland, from July 12-17.

Miranda placed third after falling to eventual tournament champion and No. 1 ranked golfer Rose Zhang.

“Really excited [to coach Miranda],” Menzel said. “I think our team is excited, they have already gotten to know her a little bit over the summer through team zoom calls and it’s just been great to be able to cheer her on.”