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HCC Women's Golf

Saints look to follow solid season with young incoming team next year

| Friday, May 17, 2019

The Holy Cross team capped off its season with a solid conference run, finishing fourth at the CCAC Tournament at Cog Hill Golf Club in Lemont, Illinois, on April 26 with a team total score of 718.

The tournament saw the Saints shoot a 355 in the first round and a 363 in the second. The Saints were led by junior Abby Clark who tied for sixth overall and shot an 85 in the first round and an 86 in the second. Fellow juniors Macenzie Lane and Maisie Nugent also took care of business; Lane shot a 91 in the first round and an 89 in the second, while Nugent shot 89 then 93. Freshman Madison Pool rounded up the conference performance, shooting a 90 in the first round and a 95 in the second.

The team kicked off their season by finishing fourth at the Crosstown Clash on August 25, and they followed it up with a strong performance at the CCAC Cup two days later, taking third at the tournament. Clark led the way in both tournaments, shooting a 174 at the Crosstown Clash and a 162 in the CCAC Cup. The latter was the best score in the field, giving her the individual medalist honor. Nugent followed behind her at the CCAC Cup with a 179, good for an 11th-place finish. Lane and Pool rounded off the tournament with scores of 186 and 202, respectively.

Head coach T.J. Mannen has been at the helm of both the men’s and women’s golf teams for the past six years, serving as the assistant coach for two years prior. In this time span, he has coached three women who have gone on to receive First Team All-CCAC recognition, as well as eight men. He has also coached 20 golfers who have been named to the CCAC All-Academic Team.

The women’s team is made up of many young members; with just one returning starter, the Saints will be looking at an almost entirely clean slate heading into next season.

“We’ve got only one returning starter, so for the fall season we have four incoming recruits coming in right now, and we might have a fifth one coming, so we’re going to have a very, very young team next year,” Mannen said.

In terms of improvements to be made for the team, Mannen said the game of golf is more technical at the collegiate level, meaning that fine-tuning imperfections can sometimes be less difficult.

“Anybody who has a great short game is really going to play well at this level,” he said. “I look for the kind of player with an all-around game, checking what their scoring average is and even [getting] video on their swings. Since I’m a PGA professional, I like looking at golf swings to see the things that are good and bad, things that need to be fixed, if anything, but at this level, it is mostly managing their mistakes.”

He said the biggest difference in the women’s game compared to the high school level is the sheer length of the courses.

“The biggest jump or the biggest hurdle I see is their length,” he said. “Playing golf courses that are shorter in high school, and then when they go to college they play longer golf courses, so that always adds a stress to their game.”

Mannen said he believes the future is bright for the women’s team.

“I think we have some really solid players coming in for the girls, so we’re looking forward to making a run at nationals for the girl’s team, and for the guy’s team just kind of maintaining,” he said.

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