Missouri State women’s golf won the Missouri Valley Conference for the third time in school history last weekend at Dalhousie Golf Club in Cape Girardeau.
Over the three-day tournament the Bears led the field after every round. The first day MSU led by six strokes; the second they led by thirteen and won the tournament by twenty strokes — the highest margin of victory in the tournament in over 20 years.
Early on the first day the Bears didn’t get off to a hot start, but head coach Kevin Kane said that they showed grit and found a way to hang in there, rally and still score a good first round.
However, coming in the Bears were not the favorites. In their nine other tournaments this season, they finished no higher than fourth, which was in the first tournament of the year.
Senior Caroline Boone (75-74-76-225) and junior Verena Gimmy (69-83-70-222) both finished in the top five individually and were selected to the Missouri Valley All-Conference team. Both said it wasn’t easy, but they were having fun which made the trip enjoyable.
“We practiced really hard; we wanted to win, but due to the results we had during the year we didn’t really expect it ... but I guess it put less pressure on us,”said Gimmy said.
The Bears got to Cape Girardeau a day before the tournament on Easter weekend to play a practice round before the tournament started the next day. The two that said the fun they had at the practice round really helped them loosen up.
“Caroline got jokes off her phone and was talking about Easter and had Easter jokes and such. We weren’t worried about what the results were going to be; we were just having fun,” Gimmy said.
Boone agreed, “We were pretty laid back on the practice day,” she said. “We knew the course; most of us had played it before, and, so, we just tried to stay confident and not worry about the future at all, and I think that’s what really helped us for the next few days.”
The Bears to an outstanding tournament. Coach Kevin Kane, who has had plenty of success in his 22 years at the help in collegiate women’s golf, said that he doesn’t know if he has had a team play that well from start to finish. If he has, it has been a long time.
“We played far and away our best tournament of the year; we played really well. I don’t know if I have had a team play that well from start to finish. It has been a long time,” Kane said.
With the win, the Bears advance to the NCAA Regional played May 8-10.
There are four different regional sites, and it will be announced Thursday; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Lubbock, Texas; Athens, Georgia; Columbus, Ohio.