The Eastern Kentucky University Women’s Golf team is coming off of a top two finish in the Ohio Valley Conference Championship last season and hopes for more success heading into the upcoming season.
The 2019-20 season tees off on Sept. 8 in the Redbird Invitational hosted by Illinois State at the Weibring Golf Club in Normal, Illinois.
Along with the Redbird Invitational, Eastern will face tough competition in three straight events within the region. The Colonels will play in the Mercedes-Benz Collegiate Championship hosted by Tennessee on Sept. 16 and 17 at Cherokee Country Club. EKU will take part in the University of Kentucky’s Bettie Lou Evans Invitational Sept. 27 to 29 at the University Club of Kentucky in Lexington. Last year, they tied for sixth in the event in Lexington.
The regional tour ends Oct. 18 to 20 at the Cardinal Cup hosted by Louisville at the UofL Golf Club in Simpsonville.
The fall portion of the 2019-20 schedule wraps up at the Terrier Intercollegiate hosted by Wofford Oct. 28 to 29 at the Country Club of Spartanburg.
Many players graduated following last season, but the Colonels have high hopes for the younger golfers.
Amanda Lindahl and Elsa Moberly led the team last season, but graduated in the spring. Lindahl was chosen to the All-OVC team, set a new EKU record with 131 career rounds and finished on Eastern’s list for career par or better rounds at 16. She was second on the team and fourth in the OVC with a 75.39 stroke average, fifth lowest in EKU history. The Sweden native played in all 11 events and all 33 rounds, shot seven rounds at par or below which is tied for the fifth most in program history and posted three top-10 finishes.
Moberly was a three-time All-OVC selection. She finished her college career holding EKU records for career scoring average (73.48) and par or better rounds (36) and second in program history in wins with 7. She led the team and was second in the OVC with a 73.48 stroke average, her stroke average was the second-lowest in EKU history and she was a 5-time OVC Golfer of the Week. The Somerset native played in all 11 events and all 33 rounds, carded 15 rounds at par or below, a new EKU single season record and had seven top-10 performances, including four in the top-5 and two individual wins.
This years team only has two seniors, Samantha Sandland from Arizona and Mikayla Groonwald from Sweden.
Sandland was ranked fourth in the state of Arizona and helped Thunderbird High School win three straight state championships. Last season for the Colonels, she appeared in three events and had an 81.22 stroke average.
Groonwald made seven appearances and played 21 rounds last season for the Colonels. She had a 78.05 stroke average and shot a season-low 73 twice, at the season-opening Redbird Invitational and the Idle Hour Collegiate Championship.
Along with the senior duo, the Colonels have multiple young golfers who proved last year they can compete with the best in the conference.
Bailey Hubbard concluded her freshman season with a spot on the 2019 OVC All-Newcomer Team. She played in eight of the team’s 11 events and a total of 24 rounds, posted a 77.00 stroke average, 13th lowest single season average in EKU history and carded a season-low round of 72 at the Jan Weaver Invitational. Hubbard was the 2016 Kentucky Miss Golf and 2017 Kentucky Miss Golf Runner Up.
Now as a sophomore, Hubbard has some experience under her belt and has shown her skills. She will be a player to watch in the upcoming season for EKU.
Another up and coming star for the women’s team is junior Ragnhildur Kristinsdottir from Iceland. Last season, she earned All-Ohio Valley Conference honors, was third on the team and sixth in the OVC with a 75.73 stroke average, tied for the sixth lowest in program history and had three top-10 performances, including one top-5 finish. She shot three rounds at par or below, played in 10 events and a total of 30 rounds. She also finished tied for ninth in the OVC Championship.
Lindahl, Hubbard, Kristinsdottir and Groonwald were chosen as Women's Golf Coaches Association All-American Scholars along with Hannabeth Owens on July 10.
No other OVC program had more than EKU's five honorees.
The Colonels will play at least six matches in the spring portion of their schedule.
The spring schedule begins with the FAU Winter Warm-Up at Osprey Point Golf Club in Boca Raton, Florida on Feb. 10 and 11.
After playing in the UNF Collegiate from March 9 and 10 and the Bobby Nichols Intercollegiate from March 15 and 17, Eastern will host the annual Colonel Classic March 30 and 31 at the University Club at Arlington.
The regular season concludes with the Murray State Jan Weaver Invitational April 10-11. The OVC Championship will be played from April 19 to 21 at the Hampton Cove Golf Club in Owens Cross Roads, Alabama.
The NCAA Regionals will be played May 11 to 13 at four sites – Athens, Georgia; Notre Dame, Indiana; Pullman, Washington and Raleigh, North Carolina. The NCAA Championship, hosted by Arizona State University, will conclude the season May 22 to 27 at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale.