Women’s golf takes second place


Photo Courtesy of Photo Services

Junior Taylor Howerton follows through with her swing during the Screaming Eagles Golf Classic in September. Howerton transfered to the university to compete in the 2016 season after spending her freshman year at Indiana University.

Taylor Howerton and teammate Kori Jacobsen led the way as the USI women’s golf team wrapped up a second place finish at the Maryville Spring Invitational in Missouri Sunday.

Howerton tied for fourth while Jacobsen tied for sixth.

At the end of round one Saturday, the team was in fourth place out of six teams after they shot a 324. Howerton ended the round sitting outside the top 10 after she shot an 80.

“The first day I was not satisfied with my play. I had an injury in my shoulder which held me back from playing my best,” Howerton said. “I had a few hiccups on a few holes that made my score jump up.”

She managed to cut seven strokes off her first round score Sunday when she shot a team low of 73, giving her a 153 total for both rounds.

Howerton said Sunday she felt more relaxed after a chiropractor worked on her shoulder and since she knew the course from playing on it the day before, she knew how to play the different holes to improve her score.

Jacobsen, who finished second on the team with 154 strokes after both rounds, said the team’s mindset changed going into the second round.

“Coach wasn’t too happy with how we played the first day, so she made it clear we needed to play the way we know how to play,” Jacobsen said. “We all went into (round two) a little more focused and we were ready to play well.”

Jacobsen, who had the team’s best round in round one (76), said she did so by keeping the ball away from problem areas on the course. She said her play has improved because she is less anxious about making mistakes.

“I think realizing this is my senior year and my last shot at it, my mindset has changed going into these tournaments,” Jacobsen said. “I just go out and do what I can do rather than freaking out if I hit a bad shot.”

The team finished round two with a 308 and a shot 632 over both rounds.

Head coach Lu Anne Howerton said she was proud of the team after they improved their play on the second day by finishing the round with 16 fewer strokes than the day before.

“We need to be right around 300. We were at 308 the last day. If we can get around 300, we’re going to be set pretty good for the conference tournament,” Lu Anne said.

She said the team needs to work more on its short game during practice time because she thinks that’s where players can add unnecessary strokes onto each hole, which is something she said happened Saturday and Sunday.

“All the girls hit the ball really well, it’s just no one likes to put a lot of time into their short game,” Lu Anne said.

The team travels to the Norwood Country Club in St. Louis to compete in the Triton Invitational Sunday in their second to last competition before the GLVC Championships start April 28.

“Going into Norwood (Country Club), we’re playing a lot of our conference teams,” Lu Anne said. “This should really be a good challenge and show us where we stand going into the conference tournament in a couple of weeks.”