Iowa women’s golf heads to Wisconsin for Badger Invitational

The Hawkeyes will take on 11 other teams in Madison for the three-day event.


Hannah Kinson

A ball lands close to the flag during a golf invitational at Finkbine Golf Course on Saturday, April 20, 2019. Iowa came in first with a score of 593 against 12 other teams.

Chris Werner, Sports Reporter

After beginning competitive play just five days ago, Iowa women’s golf is traveling to Madison, Wisconsin, for the Badger Invitational this week.

And the quick turnaround could allow the Hawkeyes a chance to improve after a rocky performance in their first tournament.

Iowa will be part of a 12-team field in Madison that includes Big Ten foes Indiana, Rutgers, and Wisconsin. The three-day tournament, starting on Sunday, will feature 18 holes each day.

Iowa tied for 14th of 16 teams at the Dick McGuire Invitational last week in New Mexico. At the invitational, Iowa tallied two team rounds of nine-over-par 297 and finished the tournament with a 15-over-par round of 303. 

Iowa’s counting players made 29 birdies on the week but finished the event at 33-over-par. 

“I just think we have to get stronger at finishing,” Hawkeye women’s golf head coach Megan Menzel said. “We gotta finish the race. We have stretches and we have some good momentum and we have to find ways to kind of dig deep and, and finish.”

Despite the less-than-ideal finish, Menzel said she is impressed with the Hawkeyes’ practice habits. The improvement may have to take place mentally rather than the swings of her players, she added.

Menzel stressed that her team must become comfortable being uncomfortable. 

“I think they do a really good job with their practice currently, I think they’re very focused,” Menzel said. “I think it’s kind of a gut-check, you know, and it’s probably dealing with a little bit of uncomfortableness out there and a little more belief in themselves as a team. Sometimes you’re gonna have to just really work hard in those moments. It’s not gonna come easy. you’re going to be distracted and there’s gonna be a lot of noise in your head, you know, and how do you refocus?”

Menzel also noted that across the board, the Hawkeyes need to improve their short game. The Hawkeyes spent a considerable amount of their practice time Thursday working on different pitch and chip-shots around the greens at the James M. Hoak Family Golf Complex. 

At last week’s event, Iowa was in the bottom three teams in par-3, par-4, and par-5 scoring. 

Hawkeye freshman Paula Miranda was the only Iowa player to post three sub-75 rounds, leading Iowa. In her first collegiate tournament, the U.S. Junior Amateur third-place-finisher completed the tournament in a tie for 32nd at five-over-par.

“At practice I’d been doing good,” Miranda said. “I’d been hitting my irons well, my driver well. I was very nervous at first, I didn’t know what to expect. I just took it one day at a time, one shot at a time, which has been working well for me, so it was great. And I knew we were planning as a team so [my teammates] have my back.”

Miranda will join sophomore Klara Wildhaber, juniors Morgan Goldstein and Lea Zeitler, and senior Dana Lerner in the Hawkeye lineup this week for the Badger Invitational. Junior Lily Gentzkow will compete as an individual. 

After the trip to Madison, Iowa will not compete again until Oct. 22 in the Bahamas.

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