The Eastern Michigan University women’s and men’s golf teams opened the 2013-14 campaign this past week at the Mary Fossum Invitational and Wolverine Intercollegiate in East Lansing and Ann Arbor, respectively.
At the Mary Fossum Invitational, Kelsey Murphy became the first EMU freshman since Catherine Fortin in 2007 to have the highest finish among all the team members by being carded a 77 in the final round to finish with a 226 (74-75-77).
“I was very impressed with Kelsey’s performance,” EMU women’s head coach Sandy Wagner said. “Kelsey has an internal self-confidence that is rare. She has set a very high bar for herself and she knows how hard she has to work to achieve them.”
Out of 15 teams in the tournament, the Eagles finished 10th with a team score of 934 (311-309-314).
“With the first tournament under our belts we can certainly rely on consistency from this squad,” Wagner said. “It was good to see the girls all play so well and consistently with such a strong field of competitors.”
Wagner did admit that weather played a role in the team underachieving this past weekend.
“The weather did play a factor as well as the temperature,” Wagner said. “We didn’t make the adjustments to the course changes soon enough in the round and it ended up costing us a few shots and that is what separates first from second. We have some practicing to do before we leave for Penn State, which should also be a very competitive tournament for us.“
The women return to action Sept. 27-29 at the Nittany Lion Invitational in University Park. Pa. and Wagner is looking for a much better performance from the women, but sees great team chemistry building.
“Individually, all the girls have taken ownership in what they need to do to prepare their games for the next tournament,” Wagner said. “I know everyone will do their part to help us improve for the Penn State tourney. As a coach, I couldn’t be more pleased with the team chemistry right now. It helps the squad in so many aspects become more balanced which equals good scores.”
Out of 11 teams at the Wolverine Intercollegiate, the men finished fifth with a total score of 863 (297-284-282).
Sophomore Stuart Grehan finished a team-best fifth overall, shooting a 211 (75-69-67) for EMU.
After putting together two solid rounds, senior Brian Churchill-Smith faltered in the third round, shooting a 79 to finish tied for 24th overall with a 219(70-71-78).
Sophomore Josh Heinze finished 220 (75-71-74) good enough to finish tied for 28th overall.
As an individual, junior Michael Blair tied for 28th overall shooting 220 (77-72-71) for the tournament.
EMU will return to action on Sept. 23, when they travel to South Bend, Ind. for the Fightin’ Irish Gridiron Classic.
Follow Eugene Evans on Twitter @EasternEchoGeno.