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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Full-strength women’s golf team looks to bounce back at Liz Murphey Collegiate

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Women’s Golf

Finally able to practice at full strength, Texas A&M women’s golf is now primed to make noise at the Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic in Georgia this weekend.
After a couple of shaky performances at the start of the spring season, the Aggies may not look like a competitive force on paper, but assistant coach Katerina Bruner said the team is poised to make a run for the top heading into the March 19-21 tournament.
Despite being one of the longer and more difficult courses on the Aggies’ docket, the University of Georgia Golf Course plays well into the team’s strengths, Bruner said.
“The course sets up well for us,” Bruner said. “We’re pretty long hitters, and if we can score well and make putts then we should be able to give ourselves a pretty good chance.”
The first two spring outings were learning opportunities, and now that the Aggies are no longer plagued by COVID-19 and winter storms, they are finally ready to prove themselves, Bruner said.
“This semester we’ve been through quite a bit of adversity, and we’re happy to say that we’re on the other side of it right now,” Bruner said. “We’ve had time to prepare properly for the event. The energy is great, and everyone is ready to compete and play well, so we’re excited.”
The Aggies’ best overall performance of the fall came at the Liz Murphey Fall Collegiate in November, where they placed seventh out of 12 teams. At that event, senior Courtney Dow (74-69-73—216) tied for seventh and finished with A&M’s best individual score of the season.
Golfweek’s highest ranked A&M golfer, Dow said she will look to duplicate that success as she returns to Georgia this weekend.
“It was my first tournament of the fall after a little bit of time away, so it’s good to know that I can do so well after a long break,” Dow said. “I also think the course sets up well and it allows me to be aggressive on par 5s and create birdie opportunities. It helps me get into the rhythm of playing aggressively.”
The Aggies placed in the top five in three of their six events during the 2019-2020 season. Last year’s core group including seniors Dow, Amber Park and Ava Schwienteck, junior Brooke Tyree and sophomore Blanca Fernández García-Poggio made up 29 of A&M’s 30 tournament seeds last season. After retaining all five, Dow said she believes it’s just a matter of time until the Aggies hit their stride.
“We’re playing five girls that played together pretty much every tournament last year, so hopefully we can recreate some of the momentum that we had at the end of the season,” Dow said.
While four women competed in each of A&M’s six tournaments last season, not one has accomplished the feat through six outings this year. Positive COVID-19 cases within the team had forced the Aggies to utilize all eight women on the roster, with Dow, Park, Schwienteck, Tyree and Fernández García-Poggio never touching the course at the same time.
That will change this weekend. While getting reps in for transfer senior Stephanie Astrup, and with freshmen Ellie Szeryk and Makenzie Niblett likely to be beneficial in the long run, the Aggies are ready to have their traditional unit back together and return to their winning ways.
“We’re good,” Dow said. “We’re back, healthy and ready to play.”
The Aggies will tee off at the Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic on March 19-21 in Athens, Ga.

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