The Lady Bison’s golf team teed off its spring season Monday, April 2 at the West Florida Argonaut Invitational in Pensacola, Florida.
Freshman Kiera Smith will not be able to participate in the first tournament due to injury but said she knows what her team needs to do as a whole to succeed this spring.
“Knowing what we are capable of doing definitely gives us some confidence going into the spring,” Smith said. “It is also important to not be playing with the expectation of winning, but rather playing every round one hole at a time.”
The Lady Bisons ended the fall season at the top of the leaderboards in their final two tournaments, which included the Drury Lady Panther and Henderson State Fall Invitationals. Smith said this is a new season and the team will not let their past achievements distract them.
“Our past success does not determine how we play in the future,” Smith said. “Instead, it is motivation for us to work harder and stay focused, because we know how it feels to win and accomplish our goals.”
Head Coach Dustin Howell said The Argonaut Invitational hosted 12 teams in the tournament, many of which are nationally ranked. The Lady Bisons have not made it to the postseason the past five years, and Howell said this first tournament will be a good test for the team.
“Making the playoffs has been one of our goals,” Howell said. “Our first tournament is the best field that we’ll play in. It’s not so much regional teams as it is nationally ranked teams. It’s a challenging tournament, but you want to do that because if you beat those ranked teams it’s a big deal.”
The spring season consists of only three events before the Great American Conference (GAC) Tournament. Junior Delanie Bowles said that placing well in the Argonaut Invitational would have a huge impact on the rest of the spring.
“It would mean so much to win the first tournament for the confidence of the team and for the outlook for our other three tournaments this semester,” Bowles said. “With the improvements we have been seeing in our individual and team scores, I believe that winning would give us a boost in confidence and propel us into the rest of the season.
The Lady Bisons finished 11 out of 13 teams with a team score of 1,009. Junior Brooklyn Terry tied for 23rdand shot a career-best 235 over. Terry’s first-round of 77 tied Harding’s eight best round of the season.
Howell said that the team is excited to start the season, and the upcoming tournament will be a good test, which will give them the chance to get rid of any nerves. He also said it will be a good way to warm up for the tournaments that really count for them, which are down the home stretch.
The Lady Bisons return to action Monday, April 9 and Tuesday, April 10 at the Central Region Spring Preview in Springfield, Missouri.