The USD men’s and women’s golf teams are ready to take to the course once again for the 2017-18 season.
“I am really looking forward to traveling with the guys and girls again,” said Nick Hovden, the head coach for both teams. “The fall season is exciting because it is setting the tone for the rest of the year.”
Throughout the summer, players on both teams competed in various tournaments across the region.
Junior Tommy Vining said he had a solid summer on the course.
“I played in quite a few tournaments this summer,” Vining said. “I ended the summer with a win in the South Dakota State Amateur Tournament. It was nice to see patience and hard work pay off.”
Vining met many personal highs last season — he placed eighth at the Tiger Invitational and tied for ninth at the Summit League Championships. He was also named to the all-Summit League first team and was named Newcomer of the Year.
“I tried improving my entire game this summer,” Vining said. “You can always get better at every aspect of the game.”
The golf team as a whole also broke several program records last season.
Junior Jennifer Vincent placed 15th and Breanna Lervick placed 19th at the Summit League Championships last season. The Coyotes finished seventh overall at 100-over par.
The men’s team is returning all but two seniors who graduated this spring. Vining said he’s “ecstatic” to be back and playing this fall.
The fall season began Monday, Sept. 11 with the Washington State Itani Quality Homes Collegiate Tournament in Pullman, WA.
“I am really excited for the team this fall,” Vining said. “I am looking forward to seeing how we stack up against the best teams and players in the country.”
Hovden said he’s looking for both teams to perform well this season.
“We’re looking for juniors Lexi Peterson and Jennifer Vincent to make a big impact for us,” Hovden said. “Right now, they’re playing number one and two heading into the UNO tournament.”
The women’s team is also returning all but two players. Recently-graduated Lervick qualified for the U.S. Women’s Amateur tournament in Chula Vista, CA, over the summer.
Sophomore Karli Kerrigan is coming off a torn ACL from last season and will be playing number three for the Coyotes.
Vincent is also coming off of an injury — she spent much of the spring as a spectator, sidelined with tendonitis.
Vincent said she and the team are feeling confident about the year.
“We have a couple of new freshmen in that are really (helping) build the team,” she said. “Me, personally, summer was a good baseline for me, not being injured, which is the first time in a long time.”
Vincent said her goal is to “try to stay out on top,” while the team looks to be more consistent.
“Last year, we struggled a little at times,” she said.
The women’s team kicked off their season in Nebraska City, NE, for the UNO Invitational.
“We have such a fun group of players,” Hovden said. “I am excited to see how prepared we are and how great we can become on and off the course. Every day is a new learning experience and a new chance to push us into the right direction.”
The women’s golf team finished in sixth place at the Missouri State Payne Stewart Memorial Tuesday in Springflied, Missouri. Vincent finished the three rounds with 230 strokes, tying for 37th place.
Also on Tuesday, the men’s golf team tied for fourth at the Washington State Itani Quality Homes Collegiate in Pullman, Washington. Vining finished in second place, finishing with 202 strokes, shooting -11 for the three-day tournament.
He also set a program record for the lowest round for a golfer. Vining shot 7-under par in the second round of the tournament.