March 13, 2014
OXFORD, Miss. - The Ole Miss women’s golf team continues spring action this week at the Clover Cup hosted by Notre Dame at the Longbow Golf Club (Par 72-6209 yds.) in Mesa, Ariz. Ole Miss, who is competing at the tournament for the second consecutive season, takes to the links for the three-day tournament beginning on Friday (March 14) with the tournament running through Sunday (March 16).
Each of the Rebels will be competing this weekend. Abby Newton, Maria Toennessen, Alison Hovatter, Taelor Rubin and Stani Schiavone will compete in the team competition, while Kaitlin Voll and Kathryn Fowler will play as individuals.
Joining the Rebels in the field are FIU, Nebraska, Maryland, Colorado, East Carolina, Louisville, UNLV, Kennesaw St., Michigan, Tulsa, Cincinnati, New Mexico St., St. John's and host Notre Dame. Ole Miss is the lone SEC squad to compete at the Clover Cup this week.
The Rebels are coming off several weeks of preparation after opening the spring season at the AllState Sugar Bowl Classic (Feb. 23-25) in New Orleans. Ole Miss placed 15th in their spring opener and were paced by sophomore Abby Newton who placed 49th with a three-day score of 222 (73-75-74).
“After competing in the All State Sugar Bowl we came home and evaluated our progress,” said Ole Miss head coach Michele Drinkard. “We then got right back into our preparation for Notre Dame's Clover Cup. As a team, we are still and will always focus on the process first. We have learned that the harder you prepare the more fun you have at the tournament. So this has been our mission.”
Ole Miss will take its full squad this week and that will help with depth and also provide some valuable experience for the team. Redshirt sophomore Kaitlin Voll and freshman Maria Toennessen are the only team members who haven’t played the course. Head coach Drinkard is taking advantage of Ole Miss’ spring break to travel early and get some more time on the course before Friday’s opening round.
“Due to spring break we headed to Mesa a day early so that we could have one more practice round on the course and to also to have one more extensive practice session on short game. We have also brought our Trackman to continue our work on distance wedge control and how our ball carries in different altitudes and temperature.”
The Rebels are quite familiar with the course having played in the tournament last season. In last year’s tournament, Ole Miss recorded a top-10 finish, taking ninth place in the 16-team field. Stani Schiavone lead the Rebel contingent with an eighth-place finish with a three-day score of 216 (73-71-72), her 216 still and 71 in the second round still stand her as best rounds of golf in the Ole Miss red and blue. Abby Newton also had a good tournament a year ago, finishing tied for 46th with a three-day score of 230 (77-81-72), firing par in the final round.
“Longbow Golf Course really lends itself to scoring,” said Drinkard. “We need to take advantage of our Par 5's and leave ourselves with opportunities for birdie.”
Ole Miss will head to the Big Island for the Anuenue Spring Break Classic, hosted by Hawaii in Maui (March 24-26). The Rebels will then return home for the annual Rebel Intercollegiate (April 4-6) at the Ole Miss Golf Course.