By Maggie Weiss
With the end of this winter now behind us and various items of winter clothing put away for the season, it’s time to welcome the spring with relieved, open arms, and no one is as happy as the St. Kate’s golf team.
This year, the golf team has really come into their own in the wake of last season; it is clear that they have greatly improved, with their noted second-place finish at the St. Thomas Invite on April 12 as part of the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC). Whilst playing the fairways and greens in Becker, Minnesota, the Wildcats edged in six strokes behind their St. Thomas hosts, coming in second place with a total score of 339, and putting St. Olaf in third place by one point – all while under the looming threat of foul weather that hung over the pitch for Sunday afternoon, which canceled the second day of the invite.
“I was very happy with the results,” Coach Kris Wessinger said. “Our goal is to make sure each individual is meeting their individual goals. If we can all meet our individual goals, then, in turn, our goals will be met as a team.”
Recently, the Wildcats have had good things to celebrate this spring; during the Bethel Royal March on Friday, April 18, first year Abby Conzemius shot the lowest score of the day, bringing the underdog Wildcats into second place at Logger’s Trail Golf Club in Stillwater, Minnesota. With an average of 83.55, Conzemius has led the Wildcats team by scoring well below that number. The team, as a whole, finished the first day of the Royal March with a score of 346, four strokes behind leaders and hosts Bethel. But things could only get better for the Wildcats; on Saturday, April 19, the Wildcats dropped two strokes from their total, earning a second round score of 344. Their total for the tournament was seven strokes better than Bethel’s score, and was enough for them to clinch the win, earning them their first-ever tournament win in the history of the team’s time at St. Kate’s.
“I was very happy with my personal results and my teammate’s results,” Conzemius said. “[With] hard practice and focus from everyone on the team, we were able to put two good rounds together in bad weather conditions. This allowed us to come back from a four stroke deficit and to win the Bethel tournament for our first ever program tournament win.”
Conzemius also achieved another first in Wildcat golf history by becoming the first player to place first as an individual to win a tournament. She added 86 to her Friday score of 82, and finished the weekend with a total score of 168.
What’s next for the Wildcats? Their final invite for the season was the Macalester Invite on Saturday, April 26, which will hopefully be the capstone on an already beautifully played-out spring season.
“Hopefully, we can execute again as a team at the Macalester invite,” Conzemius said. “Personally, I hope to keep improving my game and show this by improving my scoring results. As a team, we are optimistic for the Macalester invite, and hope to show off more of our hard work.”
Wessinger agrees, believeing that her team, with their recent rash of wins and successes, will be able to focus for this last invite.
“If we can have this focus during our round, I believe the results will take care of themselves,” Wessinger said.
Maggie can be reached at email@example.com.