Saints return to full season of golf, look forward to bright future
John Kalemkerian | Friday, May 13, 2022
Entering his ninth season coaching both the men’s and women’s golf teams at Holy Cross, T.J. Mannen was ready for a full season of golf after two seasons partially impacted by COVID.
“We were very anxious to get out and play competitive golf,” Mannen said.
Luckily, the women’s team was able to play a full season with five events in the fall, starting here in town at the Warren Golf Course at Notre Dame with the Saints Classic in late August. After placing seventh there, Coach Mannen noticed growth in his team throughout the season.
“I was impressed with their improvement over the wintertime,” Mannen said of the team as a whole.
The Saints team had four more events in the spring, capping off the 2022 season with the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Championship in late April. The team took fifth place in the tournament, led by sophomore Annika Johnson from Valparaiso, Indiana, who shot a two-day 169, placing tenth individually.
Madison Pool from Surprise, Arizona, tied for 13th place with a two-day total of 184, while freshman Sierra Benge and junior Rachel Scherer placed 20th and 27th, respectively, shooting two-day totals of 183 and 207. Mannen was very proud of Pool, the lone senior on the team this year.
“Madison has been amazing to coach and be around these last four years. She has matured a lot over the last couple years, becoming a very proven leader and her play was outstanding. [Pool] will be continuing her education at Notre Dame after being accepted into the Mendoza College of Business for this fall,” Mannen said.
The Holy Cross women’s golf team will be returning Johnson and Benge next season, and Mannen looks forward to continuing both team and individual success in tournaments and in the CCAC conference.
“Goals are always to win tournaments and we have a proven structure of preparing for each event that helps us try and execute the plan of attacking each course accordingly. We want to contend more at conference and take our next steps towards making it to nationals,” Mannen said.
Mannen is excited to have three new recruits coming to campus next fall to join Johnson and Benge. The new recruits — Sophia Sanchez from Cedar Lake, Indiana, Summer Bonnar from Durango, Colorado, and Kianna Sharp from Peru, Indiana — will round out next year’s team, which looks forward to competing for a conference championship.