Golf bonds over rough patch


Mitch Wilson

From left: Katy Mahr, ‘19, Tiana Yamaoka, ‘18, Nikki Kerns-Kovac, ‘18, Cassidy Schutz, ‘20, and Madeline Rice, ‘18.

Alex Jensen, Sports Editor

The women’s golf season started off rough, landing the team in last place in its first two invitationals. But senior Nikki Kerns-Kovac said this year has been all about rebuilding the program.
With a new head coach Mitch Wilson just joining the team in its spring season and only five players, the team faced its fair share of rough patches. “The progress they made from our first tourney till conference was huge,” Wilson said.

The team climbed to third out of four teams at the Willamette Cup. Seniors Madeline Rice and Tiana Yamaoka were both able to turn in top-10 placings.

“Well this spring season was pretty great in terms of our team dynamic and the ability to post a team score with 5 players. As a team we had some injuries that kept us from being as competitive as we would have liked but overall it was a great season,” Rice said.

The team garnered seventh place out of nine teams at the NWC Spring Classic. But unfortunately, the ‘Cats were listed at the bottom in the NWC Championships. Rice tied for 10th place at the nine-team tournament.

Wilson said one of his first goals was to get enough players to post a team score since they only competed with three in the fall. Luckily, Katy Mahr came back from studying abroad and he was able to bring on sophomore Cassidy Schutz.

“We have some really tough teams in our conference right now. George Fox #1 in the nation and Whitman #8,” Wilson said.
The main focus this season both Wilson and Kerns-Kovac said was to have fun. “In golf if is really easy to get frustrated and lose your enjoyment of the sport. I think we accomplished that goal,” Kerns-Kovac said.

She said that they ended the season with a team that has really bonded and five athletes who enjoy golf for the most part.

“Our scores and placement within conference ranking might not have shown any improvements but I think the overall morale of the team does,” Kerns-Kovac said.