North Texas Daily

UNT women’s golf leaves Islander Classic with fifth place finish

UNT women’s golf leaves Islander Classic with fifth place finish


UNT women’s golf leaves Islander Classic with fifth place finish
February 25
19:05 2014

Jordan Ottaway // Staff Writer

The Mean Green women’s golf team left the Islander Classic Tuesday afternoon in Corpus Christi with a fifth-place finish out of 16 teams and contentment with the team’s progress.

The two-day, 54-hole tournament showed UNT is improving in areas that head coach Jeff Mitchell has been working on in practices.

“We did a really good job at staying mentally tough,” Mitchell said. “We have been working hard on staying in shape and that will continue to help us out in the spring.”

Mental toughness was key as the Mean Green had to play both the first and second round, 36 holes total, on Monday. After freshman Eji Kwon finished tied for fifth place overall, a new UNT career best, she feels like she is more prepared with every tournament she plays.

I definitely don’t feel as tired as I did the first semester,” Kwon said. “The workouts and cardio we do in practice are really helping with that.”

UNT battled elements that made the 6,108 yard course play even longer. A small amount of rain made the course damp, so the players got about two to three yards of roll once a shot hit the ground, compared to 15 or 20 yards if the course was dry.

The dense air and wind reduced ball flight distance from tee to green, but gave more potential for the players to hit off-line shots. From there UNT relied on the short game on and around the green, which paid off.

The greens worked really well for me,” said senior Taylor Kilponen, who finished at a career-best tie for tenth place. “I was able to putt well and make aggressive strokes.”

UNT displayed a lot of confidence putting as the players have been practicing on a small indoor putting green because of the inconsistent Denton weather, which keeps them from going out to the golf course on some days.

Mitchell believes that an effective short game is something that will separate UNT from other schools, and will turn his good players into great players with more confidence in the long run.

“For this tournament, we practiced a lot more chipping and bunker shots than we normally would,” Mitchell said. “I feel that doing so paid off and helped the team given the weather conditions.”

Mitchell is optimistic that more progress will follow after this tournament.

The most important thing was that everyone saw some real positive things based on the way they have been practicing,” Mitchell said.

UNT will have two weeks to prepare for its next tournament, the Dr. Donnis Thompson Invitational, in Honolulu on March 11 to 12. 

Feature photo: Freshman Eji Kwon chips out of a sand trap while on her knees at Oakmont Country Club in Denton on Sept. 4. Photo courtesy of Rick Yeatts.

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