The Oskaloosa Herald
---- — GRINNELL/VALLEY, Neb. — The William Penn women’s golf team is likely getting sick of the color silver after yet again placing second at the Grinnell Classic Saturday.
The Statesmen placed second out of six teams with a score of 328 at the par-72 Grinnell Golf and Country Club. Mount Mercy tallied a team score of 325 to slip by the navy and gold in spite of the fact all six William Penn players were in the 80s and placed inside the top 13.
It is the program’s fifth runner-up finish in five tournaments.
Madison Goodfellow won the medalist honor in the 36-person field with a 75.
Demi Coertze and Maggie Yang paced the Statesmen as each carded 81 to tie for second.
Courtney Cunningham and Jing Yang were right behind that pair with identical 83s to tie for fifth.
Ashley Manhnieo placed 10th with an 86 and Alexandria Eckenrod ended her day with an 88 to tie for 13th.
“We are getting awfully good at finishing second place this year,” Penn coach Nik Rule said. “We have had a very tough schedule so all of our prior runner-up finishes have been good results. Unfortunately, today was a classic example of under-achieving a bit.”
“Our first nine holes were very uncharacteristic of us; we pride ourselves on being an intelligent golf team with excellent course management,” Rule added. “In our first nine holes we were anything but that, going at par fives in two, trying to reach drivable par fours in one, which resulted in us taking some bogeys and double bogeys, when we should have been taking birdies and pars. Coach Latos and I spoke to each of our players during that front nine and helped make the mental adjustment to going back and playing smart golf, and it worked. On the front nine, our top four players were 28-over-par, but on the back nine we were 14-over-par. It was a nice reminder and somewhat of a wakeup call as we head toward the end of the first half of our season.”
“Overall, in the end, we are still the model of consistency and depth,” Rule said. “All six of our players were in the 80s and five of them were in the top 10. 328 is not a great score for us and that shows how far we have come, because a lot of teams would be happy with that.”
On Friday, William Penn’s varsity reserve squad did one better than the top team as it won the Midland Invitational against five varsity squads.
William Penn posted a 352, bettering host Midland by 12 strokes for the crown.
Manhnieo won the medalist award in the field of 35 with an 83.
“Ashley took advantage of her distance off the tee, playing the par fives in three-under-par and having short approach shots on par fours,” graduate assistant coach Steve Latos said.
Cunningham was next, tying for second at 86, while Natalie Booton also managed a top-five finish by tying for fourth at 88.
Carly Schmalz tied for ninth at 95, while Alexi Rule and Danielle Giannotti both shot 98s to tie for 14th.
“The course, while forgiving, was playing challenging, with wind gusts in the mid-30s,” Latos said. “After a tough start, the team realized the conditions would lead to higher scores for all players, so we settled in and earned a nice win.”
“We felt confident in sending our varsity reserve to a varsity tournament because we feel our entire lineup from 1-11 can compete at that level,” Rule said. “They represented the program well with a victory.”
William Penn takes a week off before coming home to host the William Penn Invitational in its fall finale on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 11-12.