FOR THE QC
As the Pro Golf Association (PGA) tour comes to a climax, Whittier College’s Women’s Golf Team is approaching the end of their own season. On April 7, Women's Golf tee’d off in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Number Two Tournament at Brookside Golf Course. This tournament showcased their season, as they finished fourth the first day and sixth the second day in SCIAC Number Two Tournament.
At the beginning of the season, the Poets were ranked 20 in the country for Division III sports, a very impressive mark to start the season. They lived up to the expectation of the ranking, as they finished fourth and second in their first seven tournaments. Though this hot start cooled off a bit, it was not enough to stop the Poets from finishing top ten in each of their participating tournaments.
Two of their top players, third-year Kajal Vitha, who ranks 51 in the country and has been one of the most consistent players of this season shooting in the upper 70s. and second-year Taylor Beckwith, who is ranked 17 in the country, shot a record low 66 program score for Whittier College. “Girls’ Golf has been going well,” said Beckwith. “We’ve had some good tournaments. There’s also been some rough patches, but we’re working through them, and we have two tournaments left for the rest of the season.
The Poets had the SCIAC two tournament this past weekend. Placing in the top ten ranking both days of the tournament before SCIAC championships that start off in two weeks. The future seems bright for the Poets as this year’s incoming first-years have had a good first season. One person that seemed to have stepped up a bit is first-year Kamryn Marie Garcia, who has had some high praise. “She actually led our team this last tournament (OGIO Bulldog Classic). She shot 80-79 and finished tied for twenty-second, and that was a really good tournament for her,” said Associate Athletic Director for Communications Lance Franey.
Though the future is something to look forward to, the veterans of the team are doing their own part in order get the Poets to where they are. As for fourth-year Ciara Clark, she seems to be getting some high praise as well, as she has been consistently been shooting in the low 80s. “She is actually shooting some of her best scores since she has been here at Whittier,” said Franey.
Team chemistry does not seem to be a problem for the Poets. Though he may not be around them during practices or matches, Franey can see the chemistry on the course. “I feel like they have a great cohesive unit [and] are getting along really, really well. They do their workouts together. They go train together at the course. They drive each other to each course, so I feel that’s really important to have — that cohesive unit — and I think they definitely have that right now. We have two upperclass men and everyone else are underclassmen, but I feel like the upperclassmen include the underclassmen as well, and that’s what makes it really good,” said Franey.
Even though golf is more of a solo sport than a team sport, the encouragement that comes from each other can really help when the challenges get tougher. As the season comes to an end, the Whittier College Poets will be hoping to secure a win in the final tournament of the year — the SCIAC championships — and end the season on a high note.