Elodie Chapelet takes a putt at the Woodforest Country Club golf course, April 19 for the SLC Championship Conference. UP Courtesy photo

Elodie Chapelet takes a putt at the Woodforest Country Club golf course, April 19 for the SLC Championship Conference. UP Courtesy photo

Lamar University’s women’s golf team finished fourth in the Southland Conference Tournament, April 17-19, in Montgomery. The Cardinals had a rocky start and a shaky finish that cost them their fifth-straight SLC championship title.

“It went OK,” head coach Jessica Steward said. “It didn’t go well, but it was OK. It could have been a lot worse. We started off a little slow. This course is tough, in the sense that it’s penalizing. If you hit a bad shot in the wrong place, then you’re looking at a double bogey easily, and so it took us a day to get the hang of it.”

After the first day, the Lady Cards returned to their hotel room in fifth place. Steward said a better first round would have been a confidence booster for the team and the tournament might have unfolded differently.

“If we had a little bit better of a first round and were more toward the leaders, then I think that would have helped,” she said. “It would’ve helped our demeanor. It would’ve helped our confidence and we probably would have played better just because of that.”

The second and third day were a little more even keel, Steward said.

“The second day was a little better for us,” she said. “The third day we were playing well until the end. We gave up four shots as a team on the last hole, which it was a tough hole. It was a long par four over water with a difficult green. We were prepared for that hole, but looking back at the tournament, we left a lot of shots out there.”

Steward said the team may have lost the title but as not beaten mentally.

“We made a lot of mistakes, but the girls had a good demeanor,” she said. “They had a good attitude and we didn’t make many mental mistakes, which in a high-pressure tournament like this, that’s your goal. So, I think we did that well.”

The Lady Cards finished behind Houston Baptist, who finished first, followed by Central Arkansas and Sam Houston.

“Houston Baptist played well for the first two rounds — they played great,” Steward said. “Then Central Arkansas put up a good round (the last day) to challenge them. It’s hard to keep up with good scores. It’s a championship, you can’t make too many mistakes. You have to be on you’re A-game and you have to execute everything to the best of your ability — and we, unfortunately, didn’t do that.”

The only LU team member to finish in the top five was freshman Elodie Chapelet. The France native posted her ninth top-five finish when she completed the SLC tournament tied for fourth place.

“I know she wanted to be No. 1,” Steward said. “She was ranked No. 1 going into it, but unfortunately for Elodie, there were a lot of Texas players in this tournament that grew up playing on this course. She got beat by a couple of girls who played on this course a ton of times and knew the course really well, and this was her first time playing there.”

Chapelet shot an even par 71 on the 6,191-yard Woodforest Country Club layout and finished with a six-over-par 219 to tie with Central Arkansas’ Emma Svensson to give her a chance to earn a spot in regionals.

“As a team, we needed to win conference to qualify for regionals and we did not do that,” Steward said. “But, the NCAA takes the top-12 individuals in the country whose teams didn’t qualify and they give them an individual spot. There’s a chance Elodie could qualify for regionals as an individual. She has about a 60-percent chance, over half, but it’s not guaranteed.”

Chapelet said she thought the tournament went well, but she still has a lot to work on.

“I played good the last day,” she said. “I didn’t play so good on the second day, but all three rounds I started good every time. I was only one or two under, but I made some stupid mistakes. I still need to work on everything, but at least my putting is good.”

Other LU players included junior Olivia Le Roux who tied for eighth with an 8-over 221 after a 74 on the first day of the tournament. Senior Wenny Chang ended her career for the Cardinals with a tie for 20th place at 227.

Steward said next year’s team will produce a lot of new players and give Lamar a fresh start to regain their championship title.

“We have two incoming freshmen,” she said. “We have one transfer student who will be a sophomore and then we have one junior college transfer who’s joining us full time. We’re going to have a lot of new faces. It’s going to be a totally different team, which, I think will be good, because I have a little bit of a sour taste in my mouth from this season. It will be like brand new next year, a fresh start, and I think we will be pretty motivated to get back our trophy.”

Cassandra Jenkins

UP staff writer

Learn more about Lamar University at lamar.edu

Share this article ....Share on Facebook1Share on Google+0Tweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone

Comments are closed.