Golf News

Rutgers joyously chasing a title

Rutgers joyously chasing a title

A certain kind of magic happens when the textbooks close at the end of the spring. Suddenly the calendar is open. Rutgers head coach Kari Williams didn’t realize what a gamechanger that would be, the postseason experience being something of a new thing for Rutgers.

“It wasn’t rushed, it wasn’t harried in any way, it was actually kind of a luxury to go to practice,” Williams said. “… It’s just been a ton of fun for two weeks.”

Rutgers is one off the lead after two rounds of the National Golf Invitational, having clearly done an effective job of bringing that relaxed vibe from the East Coast all the way to Ak-Chin Southern Dunes in Maricopa, Arizona. Then again, every morning at the NGI, country music blares as the 10-team field warms up. There’s ice cream at the end of the day and to Williams, this week feels a little bit like the USGA events and national-team events that her players covet  in that celebratory, no-detail-spared kind of way.

Scores: National Golf Invitational | Photos

“They are playing hard and they’re competing, but I think there’s joy in it that we don’t necessarily see in the regular season when we’re all in the grind of trying to be as ranked as high as we can and do all of those things so we can get the next-best recruit and all of that,” Williams said. “This has been more about the playing of the golf and that’s fun.”

At 8 over for 36 holes, Rutgers trails University of North Carolina-Wilmington by a shot. A few errant swings have been costly, but the Scarlet Knights have figured out how to make some birdies when they need them to make up for mistakes.

A five-shot gap separates Rutgers from Santa Clara in third place at 13 over, with Arkansas State another three shots behind that. Three players are tied for the individual lead at 2 under: Santa Clara’s Kelsey Kim, Jacksonville State’s Jinger Heath, and UNCW’s Minouche Rooijmans.

UNCW head coach Cindy Ho liked how her team performed in the lead, so it won’t be easy for Rutgers to overtake them on Sunday. Ho thinks the potential is there for good theater.

“That back and forth tomorrow, this is why I came here,” she said. “Try to give people some experience but also find a way to reward our team, see if we can win a championship.”

Williams penciled in postseason dates early in the fall – NCAA Regionals and the National Golf Invitational. Rutgers could have been at the latter last season, before a nasty strain of the flu left…


Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at Golfweek…