UW Golf Hopes To Taste More Success In Chicago
Sept. 27, 2012
SEATTLE-- Coach Mary Lou Mulflur and her Husky women's golf program are getting a taste of early season success and needless to say, they are hoping to keep feasting on it.
A week after earning a 25-shot team victory at the Oregon State Invitational, highlighted by an individual win from freshman Charlotte Thomas, the Huskies find themselves entering next week's Windy City Classic ranked No. 2 by Golfstat.com.
Mulflur wants her Huskies to savor the taste of success - and a high ranking - but at the same time she realizes that the taste can go away quickly.
"It's fun to be able to say we are ranked No. 2 and it's a nice way to kick off the year," said Mulflur, whose team heads to Chicago on Saturday. "I think they are excited at where we are at, but I think they know it's early. I think they look back at last year where we won the first event too and realize it's a long ways to May."
Last season, the Huskies began the year with a victory at the Cougar Cup. It marked the teams' first tournament title in six years and was to serve as a coming out party for the new and improved Huskies. Washington was able to put together a solid season, but was denied a repeat appearance at the NCAA championships when they failed to advance out of the East region.
The Dawgs quickly put last season in the past by dominating the field at Corvallis' Trysting Tree Golf Course. Their victory was historic in that it was not only one of the most dominant in the program's history, but it marked the first time a player took home medalist honors in their first collegiate tournament.
Thomas wasn't the only Husky individual to taste success that week down south. Four of her teammates recorded top-5 finishes at the event, and a fifth, classmate Ying Luo ended up 19th in her first tourney. But, it was the amazing debut of Thomas that raised eyebrows and put other teams on notice that the Huskies may be young, but they are good.
"She is a very smart player," Mulflur said of her freshman that came to Washington via Singapore and Surrey, England. "She doesn't make very many mistakes and she has a really good wedge game, so on the par fives she has the ability to hit it really close and give herself some good looks at birdie. She is not the longest hitter by any stretch, but if you combine her smarts and wedge game with her passion for playing then it's easy to see why she is successful."
The freshmen Thomas and Ying will be joined by a trio of sophomores: SooBin Kim, Jennifer Yang and Cyd Okino. It is the same lineup that Mulflur trotted out in the season-opening tournament and she is not concerned about the youthful appearance of her Huskies. Nor is she surprised about the groups success so far.
"For being sophomores, they are very seasoned. It's not like they just played here and there last year," Mulflur said of her second-year players.
"Charlotte has spent a year of doing nothing but competing and training and making herself as good as she can," she continued. "Ying is a little bit of a wild card, but she proved she could play last week. You put all those things together and I don't know if I'm really surprised. I know we envisioned us being really good and so did they, so I would say we are more encouraged about what is possible."
If the Huskies are going to keep things rolling in a positive direction, they are going to have to do so against a tough field. A total of 15 teams will be competing in the Windy City Collegiate Classic at Glen View Club from Monday, Oct. 1-Tuesday, Oct. 2.
This year's field features five teams ranked in Golfweek's preseason top-30, including No. 5 Arizona, No. 17 Oklahoma State (the 2011 Windy City Collegiate Classic team champions), No. 26 Ohio State, No. 27 Texas Tech and No. 29 host Northwestern. Also competing are Iowa State, Kent State, Notre Dame, TCU, UC Davis, Central Florida, UNC-Wilmington and Wisconsin.
Tee times begin at 7:30 a.m. Monday with the first two rounds taking place on the opening day of competition. The final 18 holes begin at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday.