The Augustana women’s golf team jumpstarted the 2017-18 season with a first place finish at the Central Region Fall Preview in Olathe, Kansas, scoring 12-over-par.
After eight consecutive years of claiming the NSIC conference title, another strong start comes as no surprise. The team has returned seven experienced players, adding only one freshman for the new year.
Sophomore Hannah Hankinson managed a record-breaking game in the first tournament of the season scoring five-under-par, six strokes ahead of the second place finisher.
“Last week’s tournament shows what we can do, and the potential we have for this season,” Hankinson said. “So we hope to keep up that success”.
Senior Kali Trautman also had a top placing, shooting two-over-par and tying for third place individually.
The team’s newest player, freshman Alex Stone, tied for ninth. According to head coach Peggy Kirby, the results stand as a confirmation that the team is headed in the right direction.
“We had an excellent start to our season,” Kirby said. “Hannah Hankinson had a very strong showing. This is a team record for us.”
The team feels as great about the upcoming season as their coach.
The Vikings hope to keep up with the wins in upcoming tournaments, including the Concordia-St. Paul Invite in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota and the NCAA 2018 Preview in Houston, Texas.
Coach Kirby feels the team’s strengths will help it achieve great wins throughout the year.
“These ladies are competitive,” Kirby said. “They work extremely hard on their golf games, they are very committed students and have great work ethics. I think we will have a very strong season with such a talented team. They are challenging one another, which makes us stronger.”
Alex Stone also expects the team to keep up with their current skills and make it to nationals.
Kirby feels similarly about the tournaments and considers the team to be on the right track to achieving their goals.
“We have been fortunate to get to the NCAA National Championships and that is always our ultimate goal for the year,” Kirby said. “I’m really excited for this team and we hope to continue with our good play throughout the season.”