What a finale this has been! I have taken a few days to let this past weekend and final tournament for the 2023 season sink in. It has been a roller coaster of emotions leading into, during and now finally coming down from at the end of our season. I have enjoyed this team throughout the year. It was difficult saying good-bye, especially to the seniors that will be moving on to their next adventure. We have worked through the ups and downs, experienced the highs and lows, while all along the way managed to find the humor. Laughter was not absent from our time together, in fact, it was a staple. We took care of each other and paid attention to the things that mattered most. The players have now left for their summer homes and others to their next chapters! In this past month we overcame challenges, learned life lessons, and grew up in many ways. As their coach, I cannot be prouder of how they handled themselves and took advantage of the opportunities that were presented. As most self-help books out there will say, it is not the adversity that comes your way that matters, but in how you react to the adversity that makes the biggest difference.
After coming off a solid performance at the Lady Buckeye in mid-April we went on to the Big Ten Championship at Fox Chapel Golf Club in Pittsburgh. We had impressively climbed the leaderboard in round two, still holding our own at the start of round three and then had a poor performance coming down the stretch in our final nine holes, leaving us toward the bottom of the field. A disappointing end to what truly was a respectable season. The possibilities of heading to the NCAA Regionals looked bleak, with the exception of one of our standout players Mathilde Delavallade. Mathilde did secure an individual bid, leaving the team behind and sad to think that the additional three seniors on the team would have Big Tens as their last memory of college golf.
It was the very next day that they received an invitation to the inaugural National Golf Invitational. A tournament sponsored by Golfweek and open by invitation only to the next fifteen schools that missed the cut to the NCAA Regionals, much like the collegiate basketball NIT tournament. What an opportunity to “Play in May” as they say and compete for the championship! First, there were some “hoops” the team would have to jump through….
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