Women's Golf Kicks Off Spring Season in New Orleans

OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM Alison Hovatter
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM
Alison Hovatter
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM

Feb. 21, 2014

TWITTER: @OleMissWGolf
FACEBOOK:
OleMissWGolf

AllState Sugar Bowl Classic Tournament Central     Live Scoring

The Ole Miss women’s golf team will hit the links for the first time this spring on Sunday (Feb. 23) when they travel to the Allstate Sugar Bowl Classic hosted by Tulane. The Rebels have been working hard in the offseason and have their sights set on the 2014 NCAA Championship in Tulsa, Okla.

After a fall season that didn’t see the Rebels play their best golf for a myriad of reasons, the women’s golf team took a different approach to their offseason training and did some of the best off season work head coach Michele Drinkard has seen in her seven years.

“I felt like we kind of lost our identity in the fall,” said Drinkard.  “We played a little bit timid – we had some injuries – and we didn’t get quite the production we needed out of our score. We became timid with our game in trying to be too careful. We took some additional time to stay in season because we had such good weather in the fall and really started focusing on ‘why do we play’ and trying to find out with each individual how to get the fun back in the game.  Golf as a game is fun, but it can also get terribly distracting and that’s what happened to us in the fall and we lost confidence. We made that the focus and have carried it over into the winter and spring. The team playing right now has more confidence then I have ever seen out of any of my teams in my seven years here. ”

The Ole Miss team will get its first chance to see its hard work in the offseason on the course this weekend. The Rebels will head to New Orleans for the Sugar Bowl Classic, a tournament they will be participating in for the second time in the last four years. The field is always competitive and this year includes three of the nation's top five teams and nine squads rank among the Top-25 programs in the country - a total of 13 of the 17 teams rate among the Top-50 teams in the country.   

“As much as the weather has been a deterrent for us, it actually is the best thing that has ever happened,” said Drinkard. “We purchased a new Trackman so that the women’s team could have their own and we have almost worn it out. We needed to trust and find out what our ‘go to’ wedge yardages are and we needed to trust how far our ball is flying.  Additionally, thanks to the Herrington family  for our indoor/outdoor facility because now we have turned the upstairs of our Whitten Golf House into a fantastic putting room so associate head coach Janell Howland has been doing drills and maintenance of their strokes this off season.”

Howland has also integrated Aim Point into the Ole Miss women’s golf team’s repertoire and the results have been outstanding.

“I’ve been working with the team on Aim Point,” said Howland.” There are two different Aim Points, mid-point read and express read. So right now we have seven of seven players doing some form or fashion of Aim Point. Our putting statistics have dramatically changed as a result of using it. I’m excited about how hard they have been working on it and they seem to like it. They are very confident in their putting now and I’m excited to see how that transfers into the spring season.

“When you get confident in your putting, you’re able to visualize your putt going in and they are able to visualize a lot more,” said Drinkard. “Our psychologist, Josie Nicolson, has been working with our team once a week and its really increasing our confidence level. We’ve been able to get everything out on the table and we’re now feeding off of each other and honestly it’s been the best winter we’ve ever had.”

This weekend Abby Newton, Alison Hovatter, Stani Schiavone, Maria Toennessen and Taelor Rubin will make the trip to New Orleans. These five played together in three tournaments in the fall, and have been steadily improving throughout the off season.

“Abby and Alison have been the most consistent that we’ve had from the fall.” Both of them have improved and focused in on some areas that they needed to improve, and from the minute we left Wilmington until now, they have made great strides in those areas. I look for them to pick up where they left off and be ahead of the curve.”

Hovatter played some of her best golf this fall. Playing in each of Ole Miss’ four tournament’s, the redshirt sophomore set career-bests for lowest round, tournament score and best finish at the UNC Tar Heel Invitational (69-75-72--216) and finished tied for 11th place. The Alabama native ended the fall leading the Rebels with a 75.09 stroke average.

“Stani was fighting some injuries and she is really healthy right now. I can see some hunger back in her eyes now. I’m excited for her to get out there and start playing and competing.”

Maria Toennessen is Ole Miss’ lone freshman and she played in three of Ole Miss’ fall tournaments. She had her best outing at the Mercedes Benz Championship, where she shot a career low round of 73.   

“Maria, her upside is incredible. It takes a semester; very few freshmen can tee it up right away and feel acclimated and comfortable with everything that goes into being a student athlete. She is now a mature player. She’s upgraded her equipment so she has some more stability there and I’ve never seen her walk taller.  It will be fun to watch her play.”

“Taelor, I believe is one of our best ball strikers on the team. She can get hot and when she’s hot she can make a lot of birdies. She lost the fun out of it a little bit and she’s found that fun again. This is the best preparation I’ve seen her have for a competition. When she loses she is not happy and she’s ready to fight to be the best.”

Not only will the Rebels get to experience a great, although windy, course at the English Turn Country Club, they will get to take in a little bit of Mardi Gras as well. The team will be staying near historic Bourbon Street and will be able to take in some of the parades before hitting the links.

Following the AllState Sugar Bowl Classic, Ole Miss will travel to the Notre Dame Clover Cup (March 14-16) in Mesa, Ariz., and the  Anuenue Spring Break Classic (March 24-26) in Maui, Hawaii before returning to host the 2014 Rebel Intercollegiate, April 4-6 at the Oxford Golf Course.

Ole Miss Gear
    Facebook
    Twitter
    Blog
    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (April 28-May 4, 2015)

      Monday, May 4, 2015 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewApril 28-May 4, 2015Baseball - The Rebels started the week defeating the Bulldogs, 11-1 in the annual Governor's Cup. The 10-run win for the Rebels marked the largest margin of victory in the 36-year history... read more

    • VIDEO: Rebel Road Trip 2015

      Monday, May 4, 2015 - Athletics

      Rebel Road Trip 2015 from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • More on Steelers' Selection of Golson

      Friday, May 1, 2015 - Football

      Welcome to Pittsburgh...and welcome to #SteelersNation, @Quez_G! #SteelersDraft pic.twitter.com/oY8wZc10Kk-- Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) May 2, 2015 Congrats Senquez Golson! Drafted 56th overall in the 2015 #NFLDRAFT by the Pittsburgh Steelers. #HottyToddy #FinsUp pic.twitter.com/EPGayDNOu7-- Ole Miss Football (@OleMissFB) May 2, 2015 Ole... read more

    • Six Rebels Among Inaugural Scott County HOF Class

      Wednesday, April 29, 2015 - Athletics

      Six men with ties to Ole Miss were part of the inaugural class of 25 athletes and coaches inducted into the Scott County Hall of Fame this past Saturday at Roosevelt State Park in Morton. It is believed that this... read more

    • Freeze, Tuohy Conclude Play at Charity Golf Tournament

      Tuesday, April 28, 2015 - Football

      In a tie for 7th place at 7-under, @OleMissFB takes home $30,000 in charity and scholarship. #CFAPBGolf pic.twitter.com/qd0JzilyYR-- #CFAPBGolf (@CFAPeachBowl) April 28, 2015 The Ole Miss team of head football coach Hugh Freeze and Sean Tuohy turned in a strong... read more

    • Tennis Teams React to NCAA Tournament Selections

      Tuesday, April 28, 2015 - Men's Tennis

      The Ole Miss men's and women's tennis team learned their postseason destinations, as the men's and women's NCAA Tournament fields were announced Tuesday. The men, ranked No. 13 in the nation, are the No. 14 overall seed and will be... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (April 21-27, 2015)

      Tuesday, April 28, 2015 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewApril 21-27, 2015Baseball - During the five-game homestand, Ole Miss went 3-2 with a midweek win over Central Arkansas as well as claiming a weekend series over Alabama.  - The Rebels recorded 68 hits throughout... read more

    • Freeze Wins Long Drive Competition

      Monday, April 27, 2015 - Football

      With a distance of 287-yards, the 2015 #CFAPBGolf Coaches Division Long Drive Champion is @CoachHughFreeze! pic.twitter.com/ProCdgbbg9-- #CFAPBGolf (@CFAPeachBowl) April 27, 2015 Ole Miss head football coach Hugh Freeze took home the long drive title at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Challenge... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House -- April 26

      Sunday, April 26, 2015 - Athletics

      Hugh Freeze and Ross Bjork embarked on the Rebel Road Trip, the baseball team claimed their weekend series over Alabama that featured the largest crowd of the season and the football program's NFL presence is expected to grow with the... read more

    • Bramlett Helps Rebels Complete DH Sweep, Clinch Series

      Sunday, April 26, 2015 - Baseball

      Ole Miss swept a doubleheader Saturday, defeating Alabama 10-2 in Game One and 4-0 in Game Two. As a pitching staff, the Rebels allowed just one earned run and scattered a combined 12 hits with 17 strikeouts compared to just... read more

    • Freeze, Tuohy to Rep Ole Miss at Charity Golf Tournament

      Friday, April 24, 2015 - Football

      Ole Miss head football coach Hugh Freeze will team with former All-SEC basketball player Sean Tuohy to represent the Rebels for the fourth straight year and compete for a share of the $520,000 total purse in the ninth annual Chick-fil-A... read more

    • VIDEO: Ole Miss Football Season Tickets Promo

      Wednesday, April 22, 2015 - Football

      read more

    • VIDEO: Ole Miss Baseball Stars Wars Night Intro

      Wednesday, April 22, 2015 - Baseball

      read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (April 14-20, 2015)

      Monday, April 20, 2015 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewApril 14-20, 2015Men's Tennis- Ole Miss downed No. 22 Vanderbilt 4-1 to advance to the SEC Tournament semifinals for the 16th time in program history.- The Rebels rallied to take the doubles point and then got... read more

    • Rebels Continue Push to Host in NCAA's

      Thursday, April 16, 2015 - Men's Tennis

      With a split of road matches at South Carolina and No. 8 Georgia, the Ole Miss men's tennis team moved up one spot to No. 13 in the nation entering the Southeastern Conference Men's Tennis Championship this week in College... read more