Women’s golf looks to put best foot forward

Head women’s golf coach Bill Mattingly expects his team to contend for the Horizon League Championship—a task he knows is more than possible with his returning cast.

“That’s our goal,” he said. “We didn’t graduate anyone.”

Last season the Bulldogs got off to a quick start, winning the Chicago State Invitational.

After that, Mattingly’s squad played well but was not able to transfer that same success from the fall to the spring.

No players graduated from last year’s team and a few newcomers will look to add to the Bulldogs lineup.

Ali Restaino and Lauren Patishall will join this year’s squad as freshmen.

Restaino enjoyed a successful high school career at Birmingham (Mich.) Seaholm High School.

She was a stalwart for her team all four years and had a tournament average of 82.6.

Lauren Patishall, a graduate of Pendleton Heights (Ind.) High School shot a sectional-low 79 at the Anderson-Highland Sectional last fall.

Returning sophomores Julia Porter and Ali Arends both averaged scores of around 86 last season and look to improve upon those marks this season.

The Bulldogs return two juniors,  Michele Nash and Clare Cornelius,who both played significant roles last season.

Nash, who led Butler last season with a 79.6 average, placed second in the Indiana Women’s Golf Association State Amateur Championship this summer.

Cornelius, a two-time Academic All-American, was the winner of a collegiate series tournament  held at Notre Dame in July.

Molly Fields and Marcy Moreman are the team’s lone seniors. Fields, along with the aformentioned Nash, was named to the All-Horizon League Team after last season.

Moreman finished strong last season and posted impressive results, including a runner-up finish at the Butler Spring Invitational. Moreman was named Horizon League Golf Athlete of the Week for her career-best 75 that she posted at the tournament.

Coach Mattingly called the spring invite Moreman’s best tournament.

“She really came on strong at the end of the year,” he said.

Contending for the Horizon League Championship is the team’s number one goal.

The Bulldogs placed third at the league championship this past April.

Nash tied for fourth in the final individual standings, and Cornelius posted a “top 10” individual performance.

Fields, Porter and Moreman all finished within the top 20.

Last year’s tournament was held in Lexington, Ky., however, much to the excitement of the involved coaches and players, this year’s tournament will be played in Florida.

Many conferences, including the Horizon League, have been deliberating in recent years about moving their respective tournament to warmer weather sites.

With this year’s Horizon League Championship being held at Howey-in-the-Hills Golf Course in Fla., the playing conditions should be ideal.

The tournament is scheduled for April 20-22.

The Bulldogs tee off their season this Sunday when they travel to Jacksonville, Ala. for the Chris Bannister Golf Classic.

During the fall, Butler will compete in five other tournaments, including the Chicago State Invitational (Sep. 20-21) which they did well in last season.

The Bulldogs will host their own invitational tournament the first week of October.

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