Team Europe with Gemma Dryburgh, Olivia Winning, Emily Penttila and assistant coach Linn Atiyeh won the inaugural Green Wave Solheim Cup.
Oct. 1, 2013
NEW ORLEANS - The Tulane golf team was rewarded for its strong showings in its first two tournament appearances this fall, as the Green Wave received a No. 11 national ranking by Golfstat.com in its first poll of the 2013-14 campaign.
Tulane has carried the momentum of its ninth-place finish at the NCAA Championships this past May into the fall season with a 10th place finish at the Dale McNamara NCAA Fall Preview, which annually features the nation's top squads, and a third place effort two weeks ago at the Mercedes-Benz Collegiate Championships.
The Green Wave has not skipped a beat under first-year head coach Lorne Don and with the addition of the talented freshmen duo of Belen Goicoechea and Olivia Winning. In fact, Tulane sophomores Emily Penttila and Silvia Garces already received Conference USA Golfer of the Week honors during the first two weeks of the season, respectively.
Tulane's No. 11 ranking is its highest-ever in the fall season and is the best ranking for the program since the Green Wave rose to No. 10 on March 29, 2011.
"We are off to a fantastic start to the year and the team has worked very hard through our first month to accomplish a No. 11 national ranking," Don said. "We have two very competitive events remaining in the the fall season and we are excited to tee it up in Texas in October and continue to play against the best teams in the country."
Even though the Green Wave does not compete in a tournament for another two weeks, it has been an eventful week for the Tulane golfers. In an effort to keep his team on point, Don introduced the inaugural Green Wave Solheim Cup to his squad this past weekend and the results were more than satisfying for the rookie coach.
Don and assistant coach Linn Atiyeh divided his squad into two teams: Team Americas and Team Europe. The 2013-14 squad features a very international flavor with all six of his players hailing from different parts of the world. Team Americas featured Don (Canada), sophomores Madison Opfer (United States) and Silvia Garces (Colombia) and freshman Belen Goicoechea (Argentina). Team Europe was led by Atiyeh (Sweden), sophomore Emily Penttila (Finland), Olivia Winning (England) and junior Gemma Dryburgh (Scottland).
The two squads squared off for three rounds, playing the first and last rounds at the English Turn Golf & Country Club and the second round at Lakewood Golf Club. Team America claimed the first two days, but Team Europe was clutch on the final day and it was Dryburgh who came through for her squad to help seal a 13-11 victory.
"This was a great way to keep our team competing during the current three-week stretch between tournaments," Don said. "Also, with the NCAA Championship switching to match play in 2015, I think it's important to start incorporating that aspect of the game into our practices. We had a lot of fun and `Team Europe' had a great comeback to pull out the victory."
"This was a nice, relaxing way to get back into practice for our team but it was very competitive as well," Dryburgh said. "Obviously, we want to support each other and have everyone play well, but we are a very competitive group and each of us wanted to win. It was fun to practice in such a team atmosphere and we really enjoyed the match play with the different formats. I hope we can continue this tradition for a long time. It was nice to be on the winning team. We had a nice comeback with a solid final round."
2013 Green Wave Solheim Cup Results
Day 1- Friday, September 27th- English Turn
Format- 2 person scramble
Garces/Opfer (Americas) def. Dryburgh/Winning (Europe) 3-0
Goicoechea/Don (Americas) def. Penttila/Atiyeh (Europe) 2-1
(Americas 5- Europe 1)
Day 2- Saturday, September 28th- Lakewood
Format- 2 person best ball
Garces/Goicoechea (Americas) def. Dryburgh/Penttila (Europe) 2-1
Winning/Atiyeh (Europe) def. Opfer/Don (Americas) 3-0
(Americas 7- Europe 5)
Day 3- Monday, September 30th- English Turn
Atiyeh (Europe) halves with Goicoechea (Americas) 1.5-1.5
Garces (Americas) def. Winning (Europe) 2-1
Penttila (Europe) def. Opfer (Americas) 2.5-0.5
Dryburgh (Europe) def. Don (Americas) 3-0
(FINAL: Europe 13- Americas 11)