The spring season is in full-swing for the women’s golf team after two long weeks of waiting since their season-opening tournament in Arizona. After no matches or tournaments from March 9 until March 23, the women were left to simply hone their skills and shake off the winter rust before their next real tournament.
The women hit the ground running last Friday, though, as the team traveled to Noblesville, Ind. to compete in Taylor University’s Purgatory Intercollegiate Invitational. Out of the five teams participating, the Thunder snatched a third place finish. This tied their best team finish of the season in tournaments with at least five teams competing.
Wheaton ended the tournament with a two-round event score of 682. An impressive four Thunder golfers finished within the tournament’s top 10, led by junior Rachel Goranson who finished in third place with a total of 166 with rounds of 89 and 77. Only four strokes off the lead, this was be far Goranson’s best performance of the year and was well under her stroke average of 92.1 from the 2015-2016 season.
“There were extremely strong winds so that definitely made it a challenge, but the team came back and scored really well on Saturday,” Goranson explained. “Overall, it was an encouraging weekend and we hope we can keep it up for the rest of the season.”
Seniors Madeline Bond and Ariana Kim and junior Kylie Monson all tied for ninth place with scores of 172 for each golfer. Sophomore Karissa Raschke finished in 27th place with a score of 199.
Olivet Nazarene won the tournament with a score of 675 and Taylor University was second, totalling 678. In third, Wheaton finished with 682, just a few strokes off second place.
Just a day after the finish of the Taylor tournament, three of the women were back in action on Monday and Tuesday, competing in the TPC Deere Run Invitational. Bond, Kim and sophomore Madeline Birkbichler represented the Thunder in the tournament. Bond shot a 171 for a 32nd place finish, while Kim shot a 182 and Birkbichler shot a 197.
The team only has a day off before they will be back on the green this Thursday and Friday in Kankakee, Ill.