Women’s golf: Potts places 2nd despite adversity

Senior Abby Potts finished her Loras career with a second overall finish in the IIAC Women’s Golf Championships as the season came to a close on Saturday.

Entering the final two rounds of play, Potts was tied for first atop the leaderboard with a score of 152 and in good position to take the title in her final year of competition. However, Potts struggled in the third round posting a score of 94 to set her back.

“Friday was a tough day for me,” said Potts. “I grew frustrated with myself; I knew I was better than what I shot.”

Returning to the course on Saturday, Potts put together a final round best of 80, 6 strokes better than the rest of field, to take the second place finish just two strokes behind the champion from Simpson.

“The weather conditions were cold and windy, but I was able to block that out and focus on my next shot by staying in the present,” said Potts. “I never thought I would finish in second; I cannot be upset or disappointed in my performance.”

The runner-up finish was the second best for a Loras women’s golfer since Stephanie Schwartz in 2007.

“After the first two rounds of conference I was so proud of myself. I have really dedicated time into my game over the summer and this fall making sure I was ready for conference.”

Potts played extremely well in the tournament but that wasn’t the only thing on her mind throughout the final rounds.

“Last Sunday (Sept. 30), I visited with my great-grandma. She told me how proud she was of me and she saved the TH article for me. That Wednesday she passed (away). I was devastated and I didn’t think I would be able to compete this weekend. With the help of my family, Coach Hawkins and my teammates; I knew that my grandma would have wanted me to compete and play my hardest. I knew that she would be watching over me no matter what the outcome was this weekend.”

Following the second place finish by Potts was sophomore Lauren Gonner, who finished tied for 14th overall after a disappointing fourth round score of 102 after posting scores in the 80s the previous three rounds.

First-year Mary Simonson finished one stroke behind Gonner with a score of 359 to place 17th overall. Juniors Megan Gregg and Kathryn Belanger finished within one stroke of each other with scores of 378 and 379 respectively to round out the scoring for the Duhawks.

“We were close we just couldn’t put it all together,” said Coach Jeremy Hawkins. “I am happy with our fourth place finish.”

Despite the entire field posting high third and fourth round scores due to cold weather conditions, the Duhawks were unable to capitalize and finished with a final team score of 1414 placing Loras 4th overall in the tournament, 7 strokes behind the third place team, despite entering the final two rounds just two strokes behind the third place team.

“We needed to be able to post 4 good scores each day.  Missing (senior) Christina Jackson to illness really hurt us this weekend; she played well here earlier in the season and we could have used her,” said Hawkins. “We had a great opportunity to have the best finish in recent history and we didn’t capitalize.”

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