Women’s golf back on Ill. course

By Rhema Rhea

Women’s golf is looking to rebound after its first slip-up of the season when it travels to the Weaver Ridge Golf Club in Peoria for the 10-team Bradley Spring Invitational.

With the setup of their schedule, the Huskies mainly have played in warm weather states during spring. They haven’t competed much on Illinois soil.

The Bradley Spring Invitational will be the first time NIU will tee off at a tournament in Illinois since the Cougar Classic at the Harborside International Golf Center in Chicago Sept. 16-17.

In preparation for having to compete in weather that may affect how the Huskies approach the game, they have practiced outdoors a little more than they usually do.

“We’ve been outside,” said coach Kim Kester. “We are almost a full week of being outside, so that’s been rare for us all year. We’re practicing in the wind, which we need more practice on. Overall, the girls are doing great.”

Coming off some unusual high scores during last week’s MSU Ocala Spring Invitational (939 314 310 315), NIU is hoping the Illinois weather and possible wind gusts will not bother its game.

“The weather is kind of what you expect it to be right now,” Kester said. “It’s actually kind of warm. Last year around this time, we played in an event that had snow [and] that ended up being canceled.

“When you’re out there moving around, it doesn’t affect you that bad. The thing that will get you is the wind, but we’ve had a good few days in it. It’s just trying to adjust to it, get your club selection right and how to gauge the wind when you have a side wind and everything like that. So, overall, they are doing great — a little slip-up last tournament — but you’re going to have those and they’re ready to rebound well.”

Kester said with this being the second-to-last tournament before the April 25-27 MAC Championships, NIU will use this invitational and the next few weeks to try and solidify its lineup for the conference championships.

“For us, it’s right before [the] MAC Championship,” Kester said. “We need to see who’s playing the best. The best place to see it is in tournaments. So, hopefully everyone steps up and makes it hard on us.

“We want to see everyone in the 70s. We haven’t had that in a long time, all five or six people in the 70s at one time. You want your worst scoring player that day to be in the 70s. If you’re doing that, you’re doing all right and putting yourself in position to win, and that’s what we are trying to do.”