Fighting through rain, wind and cold, the Purdue women’s golf team claimed a second place finish out of six teams this weekend in the Lady Boilermaker Classic, held at Purdue’s Ackerman-Allen golf course.
The players teed off Saturday at 8 a.m., before the sun could bake the dew off the chilly morning grass. The temperature was a crisp 35 degrees, a cold start for all involved.
“I wasn’t expecting it to be that cold this morning,” senior Inez Wanamarta said. “I had been looking at the forecast and I knew it was gonna be chilly, but I didn’t think it was gonna be that cold, and I forgot my pullover (Saturday) morning, so that wasn’t great.”
Wanamarta led the Boilermakers, playing the 1-seed pairing alongside Indiana’s Alexis Miestowski and Northern Illinois’ Lauren Ingle. Wanamarta finished second in the meet, going 2 strokes under par with a total of 142.
Playing at the Birck Golf Complex, Purdue had a home-course advantage, which plays a larger factor in golf than many people would assume.
“Golf is a sport where home-court advantage should mean a lot more than just fan support,” head coach Devon Brouse said. “Here, you should know the lay of the land and the breaks on the greens and a lot of other things, so it should be an advantage.”
Despite the advantage, Saturday was a battle between Purdue and IU for the top slot. After six holes, the Boilers were 5 under with three players under par. Purdue was the only team in the tournament to have more than two players under par at any given time. After 12 holes, only half of the teams had a single player under par.
Following behind the triples on the course, one almost imagines players developing a rapport, passing the time between shots as they walk almost alone over the hills and contours. Wanamarta acknowledged the possibility.
“I personally don’t talk too much on the course,” Wanamarta said, “but I know that depends on each player. There are some players that play better when they talk more. I just tend to keep to myself.”
After the first round, IU held a narrow 7-stroke lead over Purdue. The next highest team was 12 over par as a whole.
By the second round, the day appeared to be a normal Indiana spring. Blue skies, warmer temperatures and a mild wind greeted the golfers heading out for their second circuit. This wind wasn’t an unexpected addition to Purdue’s play.
“West Lafayette’s probably one of the windiest places I’ve ever played in,” Wanamarta said. “I’ve played in windier conditions, but it’s been strange that it’s that windy there. Here, when it’s windy it’s like, ‘Yeah, that’s normal.’”
The second round solidified the team standings where they stood. Purdue made a run at surpassing Indiana, sitting at 2 under after nine holes. However, the Hoosiers pulled through and finished the second round with a comfortable lead. After this round, the margin between second and third place was 15 strokes.
The teams walked off the course after the second round fully prepared to play Sunday’s third and final round, despite forecasted rain. By tee time the next morning, the temperature was again 35 degrees, but rain and wind had forced the apparent temperature into the teens. Before the teams completed their opening nine holes in the third round, play was called off. The results from the first two rounds stood final.
Indiana won the tournament 4 strokes under par, with the Hoosiers’ Mary Parsons taking first, shooting 8 under after two rounds, the lowest individual score of the tournament. The scores spread from IU’s 5 under to a 51-over last-place finish by Butler. Purdue finished 4 strokes over par as a team, the team’s fourth-best finish of the season.
The Boilermakers will head to Maineville, Ohio, to compete in the Big Ten Championship next weekend.