The Stetson University women’s golf team is just one week away from playing in the Atlantic Sun Conference Championship Tournament, but will play in one finale tune-up event before heading to Georgia.
The Hatters will play in the Bash at the Beach this weekend at the LPGA Jones Course. The tournament is hosted by Embry-Riddle and will feature some of the best teams in the nation from Division II and NAIA.
“In our schedule, we had planned to play in the Jacksonville Tournament up at Marsh Landing,” Hatters coach Floyd Kerr said. “For whatever reason, our entry form didn’t get in and we didn’t get into that tournament. Embry-Riddle has a local tournament they are hosting and, hopefully, that will give us a good tune-up for the conference tournament.”
The Bash at the Beach will feature two 18-hole rounds, with shotgun starts scheduled for 8:30 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The field includes six teams from the NAIA ranks, three from NCAA Division II, one Division III team and one junior college.
“There are some good teams in this tournament,” Kerr said. “Lynn University won the Division II national championship last year and they are ranked No. 1 this year. Northwood (No. 5) is also in the tournament and they are pretty good. We will have to play well to get the result we want.”
The Hatters will send the five players who will represent Stetson at the A-Sun Tournament, which is slated to be played April 14-16 at Jekyll Island, Ga.
“My job is to try, this time of the year, to have the five best people we have playing their best,” Kerr said. “So, we settled who will play in the tournament this weekend and then again at the conference tournament. We will have the four seniors and one freshman play.”
“Ryan and Mallory both received exemptions because of the way they have played in the last two tournaments,” Kerr said. “Both have played well all year. Mallory has a history at Pine Lakes. She finished fourth in the conference tournament there last year, playing even par through three rounds. People tend to play certain courses well just because they like the way the course lays out and I think that is the case there for Mallory.”
Kerr said that Hoecker, who is coming off a top 15 finish at the last event, is playing the best golf of her collegiate career. Kutz, who had a strong fall season, has recovered from surgery she had during the holiday break and is back to where she was.
“I think her swing is back to where it was in the fall and I think she is confident in her swing again,” Kerr said. “Mentally, she has a lot of confidence right night. I think she is back to where she was in the fall.”
The final member of the group has yet to hit her stride this spring, but Kerr said Redinger is on the verge of playing her best golf as well.
“Claudia, and those other three seniors, have just two tournaments left in their careers,” Kerr said. “I told them to go out over these last 118 holes and enjoy playing. There is no reason for them to put any pressure on themselves. Claudia is a really good ball-striker and is a student of the game. Sometimes she over-analyzes things rather than just play.”
Other teams scheduled to play in the Bash at the Beach include Flagler College, Illinois-Springfield, Johnson & Wales, Loyola-New Orleans, Seminole State College, Southeastern, Warner and Webber International.