Posted: 03/06/2012 | Last updated: March 6, 2012 at 02:39 PM
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – The Lehigh women’s golf team will open up its spring season on Thursday at the Sunshine Spring Classic, hosted by Detroit Mercy at the Rio Pinar Country Club in Orlando, Fla. The Mountain Hawks won the inaugural Sunshine Spring Classic last spring. The two-day event will be the first of four tournaments for the Mountain Hawks this spring.
It will be the first action for the team since October, when they finished fourth in a field of eight at the Lehigh Invitational. Despite the departure of head coach Rob Shutte just a few weeks ago, assistant coach Mary Kate Williams says the team is ready.
“We have such good leadership,” said Williams. “Rob set us up with such a good core and foundation that they’re all so self-motivated. I think it’s brought them all closer together. They’re excited to go out there and play and get going with the spring season.”
Sophomore Crystal Lee is coming off an impressive fall, capped off by pacing the Mountain Hawks at the Lehigh Invitational. She tied for seventh overall at the event, and added two other top 20 finishes in the fall. Lee finished second overall in the Sunshine Spring Classic last year, helping the Brown and White to the tournament title.
Other top performers in the fall were juniors Ginette Schapira and Chelsea Michalek. Schapira captured the fourth overall place at the Bison Invitational with a final round 71, just one over par. Michalek placed ninth at the Yale Invitational, and both players finished in the top 20 at the Lehigh Invitational.
“There was a lot of improvement from the fall to the spring, a lot of work in the weight room,” Williams said. “The girls have gotten a lot stronger and are hitting the ball a lot further.
Williams continued, “They knew coming into the spring what they needed to work on in the off season and I think they’re really going to flourish. The girls are excited and really want to win it again and defend our title down there.”
Other spring tournaments for the Mountain Hawks include the C&F Bank Invitational in Virginia, the Spider Women’s Intercollegiate, hosted by the University of Richmond, and the Roar-EE Invitational in Suffern, N.Y., hosted by Columbia to cap off the season.
Williams says Lehigh’s goal is to work to shoot the lowest scores possible.
“We want to shoot some of our lowest scores as a team,” Williams said. “I think it’s absolutely going to happen this season. The girls are there, their swings are there, and they’re mentally ready to play good golf.”
The two-day Sunshine Spring Classic will tee-off on Thursday, March 8 from Orlando, Fla.
Story by Gordon Stevenson ‘12