Nichols leads the way in women’s golf tourney

Oakland University’s Elle Nichols finished ahead of the pack, shooting a 149 (+5) against some of the region’s best golfers on Sunday.

The Golden Grizzlies women’s golf team fell short to Ohio in the tournament on their home course this past Sunday by eight strokes, 324-316. The scoring is based on five golfers over two rounds, which was held at OU’s Katke-Cousins golf course.

“To be able to play on our home golf course … we haven’t been able to do it in the three years I’ve been here,” OU Golf Coach Russ Cunningham said.

There were a lot of teams from the MAC Conference and Horizon League, featuring Detroit, Youngstown State, Central Michigan, Ohio and Bowling Green.

“We’ve bid on hosting an NCAA regional, and the NCAA suggested that we bid again,” Cunningham said. “Now I think we’ve shown that this is a quality venue, and the course can play a lot tougher than it did this weekend.”

Nichols edged out Ohio’s Angela Codian by one stroke. Codian, had the tournament’s best single-day score of 70 Sunday.

It proved to be the difference in the event as Codian’s score improved by 10 strokes from the day prior.

“Well it’s pretty much been the same all year, we’re making doubles and higher, and we’re not taking advantage of the par fives,” Cunningham said.

“When we have a wedge in our hands, or holes we can get a wedge in our hands, we’re losing strokes to par,” Cunningham said. “The doubles and three scores on the par fives could’ve been the difference in this match. That’s where Ohio took advantage.”

“I played pretty well off the tee today. I hit a lot of good drives, which on this course can be pretty tricky,” Nichols said. “Just setting myself up for good approach shots can be pretty helpful.”

Remaining poised was her key.

“I just try to stay focused on every shot,” Nichols said. “I try to play 18 one-hole tournaments and just know that I should focus on every shot heading forward. “If they win, they win. You can’t play defense in golf, so I just have to keep my momentum going.”

OU heads to Iowa for the next tournament and Coach Cunningham hopes to have his team ready.

“They know what they need to do,” he said. “We have pretty structured practices plans, and more than anything else it’s just trusting in the process of each and every one of them.

“Just focus on the next shot because that’s the only thing that matters.”