Women’s golf season proves challenging, but coach sees improvement

Posted October 13, 2015

The women’s golf team at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls is winding down its season, which has proved to be a challenging one for the squad’s six members. The team just finished the WIAC conference meet in seventh place.

However, Head Coach Lance Westberg said that the team has come a long way since the beginning of the season.

“We have had a challenging season, but throughout the course of the year, we have made some big strides both individually and as a team,” Westberg said.

Currently there are six women on the team: one freshman, two sophomores, one junior, and two seniors.

The team’s best individual score came from Maddie Flack at the Wartburg Invite in Waverly, Iowa, where she shot an 83. Mari Pechacek came in close in the conference championship scoring an 87.

Pechacek, a senior, said that she has a few routines that she goes through before every meet.

“I do putting routines which include a series of 3-, 6-, and 12-foot putts,” Pechacek said. “While working on the different putting distances I can regulate my putting stroke for more accuracy.”

She also said that she plays nine holes a week depending on her work and school schedule, and practices for two hours to keep her game intact.

Pechacek also mentioned that to get the team pumped up, the women always plays their favorite music when driving to a meet.

Westberg said that the team’s two top golfers are Pechacek and Flack, and they are the only returners who have the most experience.

“Maddie’s strength come in her short game and Mari’s strengths come in her course management and mental toughness,” he said.

Westberg said he hopes that the team can jump to the middle of the pack in the WIAC conference — one of the most competitive Division III conferences — and the team will have to work in order to obtain this goal.

The Falcons have a short season in the spring which will help the team jump into the summer and have more efficient golfing next year, the coach added.

Pechacek said that her favorite tournament of the year was in Wartburg, Iowa.

“The team and I always have a great time in Iowa,” said Pechacek, “I feel that’s the place where we became a team. We bonded more than ever and really excelled as a team.”

Pechacek said that the course wasn’t very challenging and that made it a fun place to golf as well as to see some lower scores.

Pechacek earned a spot on the All-Sportsmanship team this year for her consistent display of good sportsmanship throughout the duration of the season.

Westberg said that Bethany Sommerfeldt is graduating, and she brought a positive aspect to the team.

“We will certainly miss Bethany’s enthusiasm, humor, and love for her teammates,” Westberg said. “We wish her all the best as she begins her career.”