Womenƒ?TMs golf says goodbye to strong senior class

By Jakob Wartman

The Scots are enjoying one of their best seasons in years, apparently trying to mimick the style of their mentor, LPGA pro and head coach Martha Nause, who picked up her fourth pro win this summer at the LPGA Legends Tour Hy-Vee Classic.

The team has already shot a score of 338, besting their previous mark by over 18 strokes, and has had five players shoot in the 80s for the first time ever. This is the same team that three years previous was consistently posting scores in the mid 400s.

But the faces haven’t changed much since the days where breaking 400. In fact, besides a few new faces, the team is made up of some seriously dedicated seniors.

These seniors came in during a rebuilding year for Mac golf. Two thousand three was a rebuilding year in every sense of the word. The team had graduated everyone. This included Kristy Schaaf, the fifth place finisher at the Division III national championships and the best player the school has ever produced.

But since then the team has undergone a revival and now has five seniors on its roster, three of whom will be playing at the MIAC Championships. Kylie Thomson, Grace Arnold, Sarah Gibson, Elizabeth Gliske, and Anna Gizzi make up the group of women Nause credits as being responsible for the rebuilding since 2003.

“The seniors worked really hard and their games show that,” Nause said. “We’re going to miss them very much, they are the heart and soul of the team in both playing and recruiting.”

“Because of the help of our senior class the next [class] should be even more exciting and rewarding,” Nause continued.

In addition to rebuilding the team, the senior class can probably claim the highest retention rate among any other Mac team and could serve as a model for Macalester. In fact the number of players has actually grown from four first years in 2003 to five seniors in 2006.

The team has undergone a lot of change and improvement over the past four years, going from the bottom of the MIAC to a legitimate middle-of -the-pack team, posing a serious threat of breaking out.

“It has been a bit strange,” Gizzi said. “Coming here and seeing us go from last place finishes to biting at the tails of our top competitors.”

In tournament play, the Scots have already defeated St. Benedicts, Carleton, and Concordia, all teams that beat the Scots in their seventh place showing at MIAC last fall.

“We will show great improvements at MIAC this year,” Nause said. “I’m excited to see what they can do.”

The Scots are also receiving support from Karla Leon ’10 and Jordan Matheson ’09, both underclasswomen who have made a crucial impact on Macalester golf.
Leon has already started to prove herself as one of the top golfers in the MIAC, scoring under 84 in three of the four rounds she has played this season. She placed fourth at the Division III Midwest Classic among strong competition that included 75 of the best golfers in the region.

Matheson, the team’s top returner from last year, has been equally impressive, scoring under 85 strokes three times this season and placing fourth at the Luther Invitational, only three strokes back from the leader.

“I feel very proud of our accomplishments,” Gizzi said. “I’ve learned just as much being apart of this team as in the classroom.”