The University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point women’s golf team closed out their spring season with a third place finish at the Eau Claire Invite last weekend. Sophomore Mary Welch received an invite to the NCAA Division III Championships at Zollner Golf Course in Angola, Indiana.
"I think playing in the tournament will give me a lot of experience," Welch said. "It will allow me to see how I do against solid players that I have never played against. I also think that it will help me learn to control my nerves and stay focused."
Point faced three other Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference schools including the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire who finished in first place. Welch led the way with a +23, 167 for a two-day total at Mill Run Golf Course.
"Mill Run is a fairly short course that can be tricky if you chose the wrong club," Welch said. "It was in pretty good shape over the weekend and the greens were rolling well. The weather on Saturday was cold and cloudy, making it a difficult day to score. Sunday was sunny and much warmer."
Welch averaged an 80.2 on the season, dating back to last fall where she had her season best finish of seven in the University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh Invitational. It was there that Welch shot her first ever hole-in-one en route to a round of 72 that day. In the spring, however, Welch has averaged just over an 84.
"It’s always more difficult to come back and play well right away in the spring, after taking time off of real golf in the winter," said Welch.
Welch is one of six players to receive individual invites to the championships being held May 8-11. She has also led the team in per round average with fellow sophomore Prestigiacomo in second with an 83.4 average.
"Leading the team in scores was a big part of it, so I felt that I had to try to keep everyone motivated and positive," Welch said. "We all work together well as a team though, so I wasn’t one sole leader; we were all leaders and motivators to each other."