Women's Golf Spring Outlook
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Women's Golf Spring Outlook
Senior Adrienne Millican continues to rewrite the East Carolina women's golf record book after every outing. The two-time All-Conference USA honoree has recorded a round of 73 or better in 13 of the 15 rounds played this fall.
"Adrienne is arguably the best golfer, male or female, to have played at ECU," stated Head Coach Kevin Williams. "Her trademark is her consistency." Millican successfully defended her title in the Edwin Watts/Palmetto Intercollegiate in November, claiming her school record fifth individual title while finishing the fall with the 16th best stroke average (72.6) in the country. She recorded four top-five finishes in five events and was ranked 33rd nationally by Golfstat after the fall season.
The team captured the Beacon Woods Invitational title with the lowest 54 hole total in school history (291-293-294=878). Junior Heidi Helliesen lead the way at this event with a two-under par total of 214, finishing third individually. Helliesen finished the fall with four top-20 finishes and a scoring average of 74.2.
"Heidi and Adrienne carried the load this fall for us," said Williams. "We lost three starters off last year's team and experience was probably our weakness."
Overall the team finished the fall with a record of 52-27-1. The Lady Pirates finished the fall with a 298.07 stroke average which ranked 17th in the country.
What the Lady Pirates lacked in experience they made up for it in other intangible areas which is cause for a lot of optimism for the spring season.
"I have never coached a team that likes to compete more than this one," said Williams. "It is by far the hardest working, most determined group I have been around and that is a lot of fun for me. All five players are in each round which is something we struggled with in the past."
Freshman Emelie Lind finished the fall season third on the team in stroke average (75.9), recorded one top-20 finish and ranked second on the team to Helliesen with 36 birdies.
"Emelie has a tremendous amount of fight in her," Williams stated. "Although she struggled with her swing this fall, she was tough enough mentally to focus on competing so she could contribute scoring wise."
Sophomore Michelle Williams was one of four players along with Millican, Helliesen and Lind that started each tournament this fall. She finished the fall with the fourth lowest stroke average (76.8).
"Michelle was huge this fall for us," says Williams. "Even though she was inconsistent at times, she consistently helped this team in a positive manner each round, either by score or by guts."
Williams is an excellent student as well as she has made the Chancellor's List (4.0 GPA) each semester so far in her career. Sophomore Jessica Hauser started four of the five events this fall and finished with a 77.5 stroke average.
"Jessica really struggled with her consistency this fall but I saw glimpses of what kind of impact she can make and I am excited about it. The more she plays and competes the more her consistency will surface."
Quinn, a two-year letterwinner, had just one start in the fall at the Beacon Woods Invitational. Her final round two-over par was the difference maker for the Lady Pirates as they recorded their eighth career team title.
"Jamie has proven that she can compete at a high Division-I level, which is evident with a couple of top-ten and top-20 performances during her career," Williams stated. "She tends to struggle with her consistency at times, but her swing was better this fall than it has ever been. If Jamie can continue to stay focused and improve her short game, she can make a big impact this spring."
The Lady Pirates will open up the 2005 spring season by traveling to Miami, Fla. for the first annual Papa John's Collegiate, which is hosted by the University of Miami. A trio of Southeastern Conference (SEC) and Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) schools will highlight the field in this 12 team event played at Don Shula's Golf Club.
East Carolina's second event is the annual Pinehurst Challenge hosted by Pinehurst and College of Charleston. PAC-10 members Oregon and Washington State highlight the field of this event played on Pinehurst 's No. 8 course.
At the prestigious Liz Murphey Intercollegiate, hosted by the nationally-ranked Georgia Bulldogs, the Pirates will compete against eight of the nations top-25 teams. This tournament will mark the third time this spring that ECU will face the Bulldogs.
Regular season play concludes at the Lady Boilermaker Invitational hosted by No. 22 Purdue University. The tournament will be played at the Kampen Course at the Birck Boilermaker Golf Complex, which hosted the 2003 NCAA Championships.
The Pirates final tournament will be at the 2005 Conference USA Championship at the Germantown Country Club in Memphis, Tenn. ECU will look to upend last year's champions, No. 10 Tulane, and improve on its fifth place finish.
"I'm very excited about our spring schedule and the quality of the field at each event will be a great test of our young team," says Williams. "Every year our number one goal is to make the NCAA Championships and if we continue to fight and compete like we did in the fall then I feel very confident that is where we will be in May."