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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Golf has strong showing in Arizona rain

After enjoying a week of great weather in Grinnell prior to spring break, the men’s and women’s golf teams traveled to Arizona only to be greeted by wind and rain.  The men, in a meet against Pima County Community College, scored 320, while Pima County scored 303. The women, meanwhile, took third place at the Estrella Mountain Community College Invitational. For both the teams, the trip to Arizona marked a return to golfing after a long winter of not playing.

Despite the fact that neither of the teams had played since October, women’s head coach David Arseneault was surprised at the level of play he witnessed.

“I was amazed at how well we competed after so much time off. In fact, our team scores were better than what we accomplished this past fall when we won the league championship! Apparently desert golf suits us,” Arseneault wrote in an email to The S&B.

The women were led by Hailey Speck ’15, who placed ninth individually with a 169. Lauren Yi ’18 finished 15th with 177 while Kayleigh Kresse ’15 and Alex Plemmons ’15 tied for 16th with 178.

“The meet went really well. I think we had our lowest team score of the year, which is funny because we have not played since October,” Kresse said.

On the second day of the meet, there was a storm that caught the golfers off guard, with most of the team wearing tank tops and skirts

“I did not have any rain gear with me. I had a sweatshirt with me, which does not help in downpours because it just gets wet too, but luckily there were parents following us with umbrellas,” Kresse said.

In golf, as long as there is no lightning, play is expected to continue through rain. Kresse said that because it was so cold, all the players were hoping for lightning, but there was none to be had. Despite these conditions, however, Kresse felt she played well.

“Oddly enough, I played pretty well in the rain even though I was shivering a lot. I think it made me focus more,” Kresse said. “Ultimately I just tried to hit it as long as I could because if you are playing in the rain, the rain is going to stop the ball in flight.”

The men, in their annual friendly competition versus Pima County Community College, were led by JP DeFranco ’18, who scored 76 on a par-70 course. Other Pioneers included Evan Bunis ’18 with an 80, Zach McGriff ’18 and Rockne DeCoster ’15 with 82s and Nirabh Koirala ’17, who scored 87.

“We were playing pretty well coming into the match but we hadn’t really seen weather playing golf before so the team struggled,” DeFranco said.

Like the women, the men came to Arizona having not played golf in a while.

“We played about four days before that meet but none of the guys had played a round in four or five months,” DeFranco said.

After spring break ended, the men came back to Iowa to play in the Spring Eagle Classic at Hunter’s Ridge Golf Club on March 29 and 30. The Pioneers took seventh place, led by Bunis’ 156 and DeFranco’s 161.

“We probably played the worst that we are going to play this season,” DeFranco said. “But we haven’t had a lot of practice time, so hopefully as we practice more we will get back to that level that we can all play, and hopefully be in contention at the end of the season for a Conference championship.”

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