Women’s Golf mixes newcomers with veterans

It’s undeniable that the Bradley Braves women’s golf team will have some serious holes to fill before beginning the new season, but the transition shouldn’t be too harsh thanks to the presence of the Missouri Valley Conference reigning Golfer of the Year, senior Kelly Amundrud.

Returning from her home in Calgary, Alberta,  Amundrud is sporting the lowest stroke average in school history. Besides the Golfer of the Year award and the record, she was also named a Third-Team Capital One Academic All-American.

”Kelly has committed herself to her academics and has set goals on the course as well, “head coach Mary Moan said.

Armundrud’s 3.93 GPA may seem impressive to anyone at Bradley, but she had some stiff competition academically on her very own team. Last season, the golf team had the second highest GPA of any Division I golf program. Their combined 3.819 GPA, while not quite as high as Armundrud’s, showcases the dedication to excellence on and off the course.

“Our team demonstrated tremendous dedication to their academic and athletic goals during the 2010-2011 seasons,” Moan said.  “I couldn’t be more proud of their accomplishments in the classroom and on the course.”

On the course is exactly where the Braves will need the most help. Coach Moan has brought in numerous recruits to for that very reason. After Breanne Nefueld and Caitlin Deekn graduated, Armundrud and fellow senior Erin Gorman are the only players who were at Bradley last year.

Casandra Marschall transferred from Wisconsin-Green Bay before the semester. The incoming sophomore finished third overall at the Badger Mutual Insurance Women’s Amateur at the beginning of the month. Marschall’s experience is a must for a  team depending on three freshmen.

Coach Moan acquired some more northern exposure when she recruited two freshmen from Canada.

Freshman Thea Hedemann of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan is coming off of a dominating performance at the Sasakatchewan Junior Golf Championship earlier this summer. Winning the tournament by 32 shots, she won her third straight championship at the tournament.

Christie Linn, a native of Armundrud’s hometown of Calgary, Alberta, had also won her providence’s junior championship and the two hope their success continues in the states.

Fellow freshmen Katarinna Mangieri didn’t travel as far to get to Bradley. Hailing from Galesburg, IL, Mangieri comes from a highly successful high school program. The Galesburg team won three consecutive conference titles and one sectional title, culminating in seventh place finish overall in the state. She placed second overall in conference twice in her career and her two years as team captain adds some much needed leadership amongst the freshmen.

The new recruits will play their first tournament September 10th at the Redbird Invitational in Normal, Illinois. Although the team finished sixth out of 11, Armundrud did have success there last year finishing in the top 10.

Such was the experience for last year’s team. While Armundrud was usually posting low scores, the team only went as far as the players around her went. Trying to add some depth to the roster while brining in four underclassmen will be a challenge for second year coach Moan, but while her future may be staked on these underclassmen, any team with Armundrud has a shot.