By Daniel Wallace
That’s what Baylor women’s golf head coach Sylvia Ferdon is stressing to her team entering the spring portion of the season. Coming off one of the worst winters in her 17 seasons at Baylor, she told her team it was imperative to have mental toughness going into the season and stay the course.
Having not played since November, the first test to the team’s toughness will be Sunday in Sorrento, Fla., where they will play at the UCF Challenge.
The team looks to get out to a fast start and “wants to get a jump on other teams,” Ferdon said.
What most excites Ferdon about this semester is the caliber of talent on her team. According to the national ranking group at Golfstat, senior Lene Hafsten-Morch is ranked 19th in the Central region with teammates Chelsey Cothran and Jaclyn Jansen, also juniors, tied at 25th. Their scoring average is 296.58 and ranks 26th in the country.
Ferdon is also excited about the freshman leader of the team, Kaylin Terry, who traveled in two of four tournaments in the fall and will travel with the team for the upcoming tournament. Terry spoke of her willingness to learn and grow as a golfer and how she is blessed with teammates who can teach her.
“With four seniors on the team I really want to learn as much as I can from them this semester,” Terry said.
She also added that the team desires to have an average of 300 or better per round, to have three players in the Top 20 of each tournament and to make the NCAA Regional’s and Nationals.
Sunday is the first of six tournaments for the women’s team this season. The schedule includes an April 11-12 tournament in Waco.
The conditions they face as a team and the goals they set may be tough (although very attainable), but heading into the spring the mindset is that the team is tougher.
On the men’s side
Having not competed in golf tournaments in four months, the Baylor men’s golf team is eager to get the second half of the season in full swing. The time away was something most players needed and will benefit from, said head coach Greg Priest.
“Playing at Nationals [in 2010], competing in summer tournaments, and then four tourneys in the fall, it was good for the them to get away and get their batteries re-charged. They are hungry and excited,” Priest said.
Junior Joakim Mikkelsen spoke of the four-month layoff and expressed his excitement to get back into golfing.
“It’s weird to go so long without playing. I am most excited to get it going again,” he said.
Mikkelsen added the team has room for improvement and will have to play better than in the fall to reach its goals.
“We weren’t happy with the way we played in the fall at all. We are not worried about that now, though. We are working on our short-game and putting,” he stated.
Priest has goals that his team will be playing their best at the end of the year and they will get better every week. Mikkelsen offered some more tangible goals for team.
“We want to get into regionals and qualify for the National Championship,” Mikkelsen said. “Once you get to the NCAA, there is no telling what you can do there.”
Priest says that those goals are very attainable.
“We believe we can do it,” Priest said.
Their quest to return to postseason play will pick up again Monday at the UTSA Oak Hills Invitational in San Antonio. The team is eager to improve and to see where the spring semester will take them.