Lehigh freshmen women's golfers Iris Shin (left) and Hannah Foster drive during practice. The fall regular season will end with the Lehigh Invitational on Monday, Oct. 21, 2019. (Julia Randolph-Flagg/B&W Staff)

Lehigh women’s golf aims for fore-peat

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After strong performances in its first three competitions, the Lehigh women’s golf team looks to bring its momentum home to its final invitational of the fall season.

Coach Mary Kate Lynch said playing in three invitationals on consecutive weekends proved beneficial for the Mountain Hawks as the team prepares for the Lehigh Invitational. 

“They have been really successful,” Lynch said. “We played back-to-back-to-back, which we haven’t done before, and it actually paid off really nicely.”

The team finished fourth at the Bucknell Invitational on Sept. 14-15 and shot a school record team low through 54 holes (910). At the Fairleigh Dickinson University Invitational the following weekend, the Mountain Hawks finished fourth out of nine teams with a second place individual finish from freshman Addy Douglas. Despite a slow start at the Boston College Intercollegiate, the team shaved nine strokes off its second round score to finish ninth out of 14 teams.

The Mountain Hawks entered the season with three upperclassmen and four freshmen. Lynch said the new golfers have already played major roles in the team’s early success.

“They (the freshmen) have made an immediate impact on our team,” she said. “They have really just brought in new energy and raised everyone’s level of play.”

Lynch said the ability of the new team members to adjust quickly to college golf is due to the leadership of the upperclassmen, senior Minuette Laessig, senior Rebecca Markunas and junior Angela Ding. 

“They are three amazing leaders,” Lynch said. “They have really taken the freshmen under their wing, helping them figure out ways to balance school and golf.”

Among the group of freshmen, Addy Douglas had a successful first few starts, as she has tied Lehigh’s individual record low through 54 holes (219), which was previously held by Reagan Jahn. Jahn graduated as the Patriot League Scholar Athlete of the Year in 2019. 

But Douglas said she isn’t satisfied yet. She said she hopes to break the record as the season progresses. 

The Mountain Hawks also recognize the areas that need improvement. Lynch said the team will continue tweaking certain components of its game during its final practices before the Lehigh Invitational.

Douglas agreed with Lynch and said the team can reach another level of intensity. She said a way to accomplish this is by reminding her teammates to grow stronger everyday.

“We can all push each other to work harder and practice harder,” Douglas said. “We push each other each day and pull on each other’s weaknesses so we can make them strengths.”

Markunas said the team hopes its hard work at practice and commitment to improvement will translate to success in the final invitational of the fall season. She said Lehigh always sets a goal to win its home tournament, and the team is eager to extend its win streak to four straight years. 

This season, the Patriot League Championship will be held at Bucknell’s course in the spring—a course that has fared well for the Mountain Hawks after shooting their record low at the Bucknell Invitational early this fall. 

“We gained so much confidence with how well we played going to their tournament this fall, so that is really going to help us,” Lynch said. 

Markunas said she feels confident about the team’s ability to perform well in the Patriot League Championship come April.

“We can aim for at least a top three finish,” Markunas said. “And it would be great to see individual players place in the top ten.”

Lehigh will close out its fall season when it hosts the Lehigh Invitational on Oct. 21-22 on the Grace Course at Saucon Valley Country Club.

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