Flashes lose momentum on the green in Puerto Rico

Eric Conway

The women’s golf team made improvement in the final round of the Lady Puerto Rico Classic last week and moved from sixth place to fifth.  Junior Wad Phaewchimplee received her second consecutive MAC Golfer of the Week.

“Yeah I’m the golfer of the week again,” Phaewchimplee said. “But it doesn’t make a difference in my game and how I practice. It’s just a title.”

The Golden Flashes pushed through scattered rain, slow greens, and shallow bunkers to tie with Northwestern University in fifth place. The team remained in sixth the first two round of the tournament. Birdies on the final hole from Josée Doyon and Phaewchimplee helped the team move up a spot.

“The fairway was wide and easy to stay on,” Phaewchimplee said. “But if you got yourself in the woods, it’d be much harder to get on the green.”

Senior Amira Alexander said the grass on the course in Puerto Rico was a different type of grass the team wasn’t familiar with. The course was made up of Bermuda grass, which tends to be much rougher than the bluegrass the team normally plays on.

“The bunkers in Puerto Rico were shallow,” Alexander said. “Once you got in them, it was hard to get out.  Hitting the ball on the green was like hitting it off a table.”

The team’s scoreboard clearly showed the difficulty of the course because of the amount of bogeys, double bogeys, and a few three-plus bogeys.  Patience was key to the Flashes’ movement up on the leaderboard.

“If I was set up for a birdie,” Phaewchimplee said. “I wouldn’t work myself to make it. If I didn’t make the birdie, I could still make par, and I did.”

Both Alexander and Phawechimplee agreed that their short play, meaning putts and chips, was off and resulted in a lower placing.

“I can see why a lot of players get frustrated about easy putts,” Phaewchimplee said. “ And saying to themselves, ‘that was an easy putt. Why didn’t I make that?’”

It was no question this was not the Golden Flashes’ best performance after their victory two weeks ago at Mid-American match play. The team recognized its errors in Puerto Rico and will work on improving them.

“Coach mentioned we didn’t bring our A game,” Alexander said. “The team had a great attitude in Puerto Rico, and we’re looking forward to the next tournament.”

The women’s team is off for the next two weeks and will be back in tournament play March 5 at the Gator Women’s Invitational in Florida.

“We weren’t clicking on all cylinders,” head coach Greg Robertson said. “ They fought hard and kept themselves in it. We’ll work on wedge play and short play these next two weeks.”