The Minnesota State University women’s golf team is peaking at the best time of the season.With the conference tournament coming up this weekend and a couple big-time national tournaments thereafter, the Mavericks finished first at the Minnesota State Invitational this past weekend.
The tournament was held at Bunker Hills Golf Club in Coon Rapids, Minnesota. The weather for this tournament was very interesting to say the least.Saturday called for rain as it was off-and-on all day while Sunday was warm and sunny throughout but extremely windy, causing golfers to adjust where they aim and how to play certain shots. Assistant Coach Tabitha Kunst applauded her team for playing in tough conditions throughout the spring.
“The weather this spring has not been cooperative. We have had to play in tournaments with little to no preparation. Although we have yet to show our full potential, our coaching staff is proud of the girls for their perseverance through the tough conditions,” Kunst said.
The weather may have been irritating, but winning may have just made up for it as the Mavericks blew past the field in this one. Finishing first with a score of 624, the next closest team was Concordia-St. Paul with a total score of 643.
Individually, the Mavericks showed out. The team placed six golfers in the top-ten which is relatively unheard of at a tournament with more than three teams. Winning it all and finishing first was sophomore Haley Tollette with rounds of 80 and 73. 73 was the lowest round at the tournament as she came from behind to win. Tollette is continuing to build on her impressive spring season as this is now her second-first place finish. Sophomore Abbe Partington has also found herself in the top-ten a couple times this spring. Partington fired consistent rounds of 77 and 80 to capture third. Placing in a tie for fifth was junior Genie Short. Short battled the conditions for rounds of 82 and 77. Sophomore Nattiya Somboonsup and freshman Kayla Thielan tied for 7th as Somboonsup shot 79/81 and Thielan recovered after a first round 84 to shoot 76 the second day. Rounding out the top-ten for the Mavs was freshman Maddy Schintz, who placed 9th with consistent scores of 81 and 80.
Kunst had encouraging words for a couple golfers on this young team.
“Sophomore Haley Tollette has had a strong start this spring with a couple subpar rounds and a couple first place finishes. After some minor struggles in the fall, she has made a putting change and is stroking it beautifully. Sophomore Nattiya Somboonsup has been working hard on her mental game and is starting to see the results she has been looking for. Freshman Kayla Thielan has undergone a swing overhaul and is firing career low rounds.”
The Mavericks look to continue their hot play as they play in the NSIC Conference Championship this Saturday/Sunday at Dakota Ridge Golf Club in Morton, Minnesota.