March 1, 2014
Editor's Note: The following first appeared in the University of Iowa's Hawk Talk Daily, an e-newsletter that offers a daily look at the Iowa Hawkeyes, delivered free each morning to thousands of fans of the Hawkeyes worldwide.
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa women's golf team opened the 2014 season in strong fashion last weekend, rearranging the record books.
The Hawkeyes fired an 877 (+13) to establish a new 54-hole school record at the Westbrook Invitational on Feb. 23-24. The Hawkeyes' 36-hole score of 585 is good for third overall in program history, and their 18-hole score of 291 ties for fifth.
"We were excited when we found out," said junior Shelby Phillips. "It's a huge deal to be in the record book. We want to continue to set records every tournament. It's a big goal. That's huge for us."
"The team went out, hit the shots and made the putts," said third-year UI head coach Megan Menzel. "I'm pleased with the way they went out and played."
Phillips paced the Hawkeyes at the Westbrook Invitational. The Arizona native carded a three-round total of 216 in her home state to tie for 14th place in the tournament and register her third top-20 finish of the year. Phillips' score ranks third among Iowa's all-time best performances.
Iowa's offseason work carried over into the season-opener.
"We worked on three areas," said Menzel. "Technically, we worked a lot on our swing, and made some good adjustments by the use of TrackMan. Mentally, we tried to evaluate what we weren't doing so well, and we uncovered some good things. That helped our team feel calmer going into the week. Physically, we worked hard as well."
The Hawkeyes had not played in a tournament for four months.
"I'm proud of them for coming out and playing so calmly during the first week," said Menzel. "It's tough when you haven't been out to play yet. They all bought into their preparations and had a solid game plan. They went and executed well, and I'm proud of them."
The Hawkeyes are pleased with their record-setting performance, but know there is work to do.
"The neat thing about this group is that they were pleased with the way they came out and played, but they weren't overly excited," said Menzel. "They all feel like they can continue to get better. We take setting the record as a positive. We're certainly happy about that, but they know they can continue to get better too."
Iowa is looking to carry its momentum into this week's tournament.
"The team has worked hard on in the offseason, and it showed last weekend," said freshman Jessie Sindlinger, who posted a 218 (+2) in the opening tournament, marking a new career best 54-hole score. "We are all committed to improving, and this was a good start. We are looking forward to the Hurricane Invitational this coming week."
"We have to take the positives from what we learned and keep moving forward," said Phillips. "We've been working hard the past few days to keep improving."
Iowa heads to Coral Gables, Fla., to continue action in the Hurricane Invitational on March 3-5. The 54-hole tournament will be hosted by the University of Miami at the Biltmore Golf Course (par 71, yardage 6,092). Live scoring will be available at golfstat.com.