Sophomore Madison Opfer and the 33rd-ranked Green Wave make the short trip to Baton Rouge this weekend for the LSU Tiger Golf Classic.
March 20, 2014
NEW ORLEANS - Tulane's 33rd-ranked golf team returns to action this weekend at the annual LSU Tiger Golf Classic, this Friday-Sunday, March 21-23, at The University Club in Baton Rouge.
The three-day, 54-hole event will feature 18 holes each day on the par-72, 6,215-yard course. Play will begin at 8:30 a.m. each morning from holes No. 1 and No. 10 on Friday and Saturday, while Sunday's final round will begin with a shotgun start.
The 14-team field features #4 Arkansas, #16 UCF, #17 LSU, #29 Kentucky, #33 Tulane, #38 Denver, #42 Notre Dame, #47 SMU, #52 Baylor, #53 TCU, #62 Purdue, #70 UTSA, #80 Missouri, ULM and UNC-Wilmington.
Tulane has not competed since hosting the 2014 Allstate Sugar Bowl Intercollegiate Golf Championship in late February. However due to several missed rounds because of inclement weather, the Green Wave and the Denver Pioneers met on Wednesday for a single round at Lakewood Golf Club. The Pioneers are coached by former Tulane standout Lindsay (Hulwick) Kuhle, who played for the Wave from 2001-05.
The Wave topped the Pioneers by eight strokes and was led by sophomore Madison Opfer's 1-under 71.
"As with most of our tournaments this year, this is a very strong field, so we look forward to competing against some of the nation's top squads once again," Tulane head coach Lorne Don said. "One of our goals in each tournament is to always play against some of the best teams in the country. We have been playing well as of late. We took a spring break trip to Lake Charles and had a very solid week of practice with some low scores. I think everyone is ready to tee the ball up and get going."
"With the rain days we incurred during the fall and spring and the fact the Denver golf team is on their spring and will be competing in this weekend's tournament, we decided to schedule a one-day match at Lakewood Golf Club. This will count as a head-to-head competition, but more importantly we wanted to get some tournament play in before we head to LSU," Don added.
All six Green Wave golfers will compete this weekend. The TU line-up features junior Gemma Dryburgh, the sophomore trio of Silvia Garces, Opfer and Emily Penttila and rookie Belen Goicoechea, while freshman Olivia Winning will compete as an individual.
Penttila leads the squad with a team-best 72.53 average, followed by Garces (73.00), Dryburgh (73.07), Opfer (73.65), Goicoechea (74.67) and Winning (74.33).
Arkansas is the defending team champions, while Tulane earned a second place finish a year ago at the event. The individual medalist a year ago was Arkansas' Emily Tubert, while former TU All-American Maribel Lopez Porras was the runner-up.
"I think each of our players realize this is crunch time with just two tournaments remaining before conference, regionals and hopefully the NCAA Championships, so you really want to start peaking at your game. Each one of our golfers has been working on the certain parts of their games that they need to and we are seeing some improvements. Now, we just want to see that progress start showing up in these tournaments," Don said.