Golf team 34 strokes from first-place team in tournament

Golf team 34 strokes from first-place team in tournament

by Ashley Van Alstine

Thirty-six holes down, 36 to go. The women’s golf team is halfway through its Conference tournament, and it’s just five strokes off the second-place team.

The first half of the Conference tournament took place last weekend in Cedar Falls, and it will continue this weekend at Iowa City. Simpson shot 668 overall, and Wartburg, currently in first place, shot 634.

“The Conference tournament is the biggest thing in golf besides what happens in the spring,” junior Jess Harvey said. “If this tournament goes well, it will give the team a better chance at making it to nationals.”

The golf team has impressive statistics in Simpson’s history. The record includes 14 national-tournament appearances and 87 tournament victories since 1989, 10 Iowa Conference team championships, 10 Iowa Conference medalists, seven All-Americans and six national tournaments in which they placed in the top five.

The women are hoping to continue their winning tradition.

“Its been a tough season for us, but ultimately we hope to win Conference, however Wartburg tends to dominate this tournament,” senior team captain Steph Schenfeld said. “Whatever happens, the team is strong enough to deal with the situation at hand.”

The impressive, long-standing success of the women’s golf program doesn’t come without effort and determination. The team trains regularly at Deer Run Golf Course and the Indianola Golf and Country Club.

“To prepare for the tournament during practice we really work on all aspects of the game,” Schenfeld said. “I really have been focusing on my short game, chipping and putting. I just try to practice as much as possible.”

Bob Darrah has been head coach for the women’s golf team for 17 years. Darrah is a 10-time Iowa Conference Women’s Golf Coach winner and has led the Storm to eight league titles.

Schenfeld said while golf is an individual sport, Darrah coaches the women as a team.

“The feeling I get, as far as the team we have, is support,” Schenfeld said. “Ultimately, golf is really individually based, but we come together as a team and really rely on each other. It’s that support that makes golf a team sport.”

Good attitudes are also important in golf according to Athletic Director John Sirianni.

“The girls are very competitive, and continue to have the main object of each game is to continue to get better,” Sirianni said. “These ladies are an exceptional representation of the school. They are quality young ladies who are a true representation of what Division III athletics should be.”