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BLOG: Qualifying and Old North State

by Lauren Ressler, Head Women's Golf Coach
Hello all!  Welcome to Fall 2009!

As our roster expanded this year, I wanted to take some time and write about our qualifying procedure for the first tournament of the season!  Qualifying is an essential part of how I run my team as we have eleven eligible players and only five or six tournament spots.  This year, the procedure was extensive (six rounds) and featured two separate cuts.  We started with a three round pre-qualifier for everyone.  The top eight moved onto the main qualifier where they were fighting for five travel spots and one individual place.  I love qualifying.  It allows players to prove themselves under pressure and show what they are capable of doing during a tournament.  Sometimes, I think qualifying can be more pressure filled then the actual event, especially for the first year players.  This year's second stage of qualifying was over 54 holes and took place at Country Club of Newberry.  The course was set around 5,900 yards and had a good mixture of short/long par 4s and fair par 5s.  The girls had a window of one week to complete three full 18 hole rounds.  Below I have reported the scores from the second stage: 

Maria Besio 74-74-77 = 225
Barbara Castro 80-76-78 = 234
Josefine Mensner 78-82-77 = 237
Lisa Brandl 86-78-78 = 242
Julia Sizemore 83-80-80 = 243
Sara Johansson 85-86-82 = 253

The cut was 253 and Sara Johansson beat out the 7th place player by two strokes!  It came down to the final day and final holes!  However, each player who was able to make it through qualifying felt a great sense of accomplishment and excitement for our first event at Old North State.

LADY FALCON at Old North State:
We were lucky enough to play a wonderful course for our first tournament of the year!  Old North State is located outside of New London, North Carolina on the beautiful Badin Lake.  Pfeiffer University hosts this event each year and the course did not disappoint.  We were starting a very young team (three freshmen, two sophomores) with many nationally recognized programs in the field including West Florida, California U of PA, Pfeiffer, Wingate and Carson-Newman.  Following a practice round, our team headed to a banquet on Pfeiffer's campus.  The girls though the food at the banquet was good as they were the first team to go back for seconds...hey, they were hungry!  We also stopped to allow some of our players to experience a Diary Queen Blizzard for the first time!  I am probably going to regret this decision as now they love DQ!  Julia Sizemore was nice enough to explain the best Blizzard options and everyone got a cookie dough and oreo mixture.  YUM!

Maybe we should keep the Blizzards to post-tournament celebrations as our first day score was a 321.  :(  We had to count several rounds in the 80s and no one was pleased with their effort.  After play, we looked over stat sheets and did a little practice on the putting green and driving range.  I took orders for dinner and brought the food back to our hotel.  During dinner, the girls worked on homework and watched TV.  We improved greatly the second day with a 311 which included a 72 by Maria Besio.  Our total of 632 was good enough for 4th place as a team!  This was a good start and our scores placed us ahead of many accomplished programs.  Additionally, the first year players sometimes take a little time to adjust to college golf.

Overall, Old North State was a good first trip of the year!  The girls are excited and cannot wait to compete!

Until next time....Fairways and Greens!
Coach Ressler

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