BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The Birmingham-Southern women's golf team tees off the spring season at its first tournament of 2019 on Friday, March 1.
Coming off a fall season that saw the Panthers claim two top-five finishes, including a third-place finish, head coach Richard Schmidt says he expects his team to continue that trend.
"The girls played pretty well in the fall," he said. "They were a little inconsistent, but overall I was happy with how they played. They shot some of the best scores we've ever had since I've been here and they did some things that have never been done here before."
Some of those feats included having all counting scores in the 70's and the Panthers finished the fall season ranked No. 29 in the country by GolfStat.com.
"We were ranked No. 29 at the end of the season, and I think we could've been higher, to be honest," Schmidt added.
One improvement BSC will be looking to make in the spring is cutting down on the really high scores to lower its overall score in tournaments.
"I'm not going to be cliché and say we need to make more birdies and fewer bogies," Schmidt said," but we really have to cut out the really big numbers in tournaments. Those rounds typically come back to hurt us in tournaments."
Returning for the Panthers are sophomore Emma Phillips (Brentwood, Tenn./Brentwood HS) and junior Sarah Posey (Covington, Tenn./First Assembly Christian School). Both student-athletes had multiple top 25 finishes in fall tournaments, including a fourth-place finish by Phillips at the Chick-fil-A Collegiate Invitational on Oct. 23.
The Panthers will start the season at the Callaway Garden Collegiate to begin the year on March 2-3 and will follow it up at the Jekyll Island Collegiate on March 14-16.
"The Callaway Garden tournament to start off the spring and the Jekyll Island tournament are two good ones with big fields that can kind of catapult you to start the spring," Schmidt said. "We always look forward to those two tournaments."
Birmingham-Southern's will host its own tournament, the BSC Southern Showdown, at Bent Brook Golf Club on April 14-16 for its third competition of 2019.
"We're excited about our tournament at Bent Brook," Schmidt said. "I think that's an exciting opportunity for us."
BSC's tournament will be the last one before the start of the Southern Athletic Association Championship Tournament at Greystone Golf Course in Dickson, Tenn., April 25-28.
"The conference tournament is at the same place as it was last year and everyone's seen that course," Schmidt said. "There shouldn't be any surprises there."
At the end of the year, Schmidt says he believes his team will be in a good position if they can either stay their current course or improve their game and move up in the rankings.
"I'd like to maintain our position or move up," Schmidt said. "It'll be tough to do, but we've got talented golfers on the team and I don't think it's outside of our ability to do that."