Women’s golf lands third-place finish to end season at the Big East Championship

Photo courtesy of goxavier.com | Junior Mikayla Smith was a top performer for the women’s golf team, shooting a score of 231 (+15) to place seventh overall over the weekend.

The Xavier women’s golf season ended its season on a high note, finishing in third place in the 2018 Big East Championship.

The Musketeers were led by junior Mikayla Smith, who placed seventh with a score of 231, or +15.

While Smith led the way for the Musketeers, there were two other finishes in the top 15, as well as the two others in the top 25.

Sophomore Mikayla Fitzpatrick tied for 12th place with a score of 236, or +20. Fitzpatrick also finished with the second-best par 5 average, shooting for par on all of the par 5s for the tournament.

Freshman Andie Shukow tied for 15th, shooting a 239, or +23. Shukow also tied with freshman Morgan Tinsley in birdies, with each getting four out of the 15 Xavier had as a team. Tinsley also secured the 22nd spot on the tournament, shooting a 243, or a +27. Finally, redshirt senior Grace Howie placed 23rd, shooting a 244 or a +28.

Smith believes that there were glimpses of greatness at the tournament, but the team needs to work on consistency.

“Throughout the year we were able to put together some great rounds, but I think it was the inconsistency this tournament that hurt us,” Smith said.

“Georgetown was the most steady, and that is why they won. I think the win at Eastern Kentucky showed our potential, but we need to strive for that more often.”

The third-place finish was an improvement from a fourth- place finish the Musketeers had last year. Xavier had a team score of 313, 309 and 316 each day of the tournament for a total score of 938, or +74.

“I was happy to see us move into the third place position this year at conference, but obviously, claiming that top spot is our ultimate goal,” head coach Breanna Patz said. “We have to continue to improve at each position in our lineup and play more steady golf at the conference championship in order to make that jump.”

The Georgetown Hoyas won the championship for the second consecutive year, with a three-day score of 903 or +39.

“Georgetown has a really deep team that was able to make birdies and have some low scores throughout the three days,” Patz said. “We struggled to match. The girls showed a better level of work ethic this year, so I’m confident we’ll continue that into next year, which will help us make the improvements we need to contend for a title in the future.”

Patz also had high praise for the young squad, expressing high expectations for the group: “We had a young team this year, and every player on our roster was in the top five at some point during the season.

“It was good to see all the players contribute and gain experience for the future,” she continued. “Callawassie Island Golf Club is a challenging golf course, and the freshmen that got to play in the lineup this year experienced that. I think this will help them understand why I try to make our practice and qualifying rounds at home challenging throughout the season.”

Despite the challenges that the course presents, Patz is confident that the team can perform well on it in the coming years.

“Georgetown showed that it’s a course we can score on, and we watched them do it for three days this year. We know it can be done. Now we just have to keep working hard and building confidence in ourselves that we can be the ones to get it done there next year,” Patz said.

By: Jack Dunn ~Staff Writer~