UVU women’s golf: Looking back on the season

Collegiate golf, specifically women’s collegiate golf, might be the least followed sport in college. This has nothing to do with the talent on the team, or the location of the tournament. It’s simply just how collegiate golf is. Few people take their families out to a golf tournament like they would a basketball or football game. So the majority of the time golf tournaments consist of golfers, coaches and some officials.

With all of this said, the UVU women’s golf team has put on a great season this year, starting way back in September of 2018 that deserves a following. That tournament, on what can be considered their “home green” at the Hobble Creek Golf Course in Springville, was just the start the Wolverines needed, where they took second place out of 12 teams. From there, the team has achieved three top-five finishes out of the nine tournaments they’ve competed in so far with one more, the WAC championship, left to play.

Seniors Carly Dehlin Hirsch and Ana Raga have been with the women’s golf team since the 2014-2015 season where they both sat out as redshirts. Their first season playing in 2015-2016 came with some struggles, but each of them brought something to the table that benefited the team and the team slowly improved.

The last three seasons, including this one, have led to 10 top-five finishes out of the 29 tournaments they’ve played in. Although that might not seem like the best record in the world, but golf isn’t like other sports, like basketball. Basketball teams might have different locations to play in, but the court is the same as any other court in the league. Golf, on the other hand, might have the same number of holes per round, but each course is unique and challenging. Each green slopes a little differently,  fairways vary in width, and the distance from tee box to pin is different on every hole.

Raga played in all 12 tournaments her first year for a total of 31 rounds of golf. She was ranked third on the team with an average score of 79.52 as a freshman. The following year, she was named First Team All-WAC after taking second place overall in the 2017 WAC Championship. She carded a school record 10-over-par at 220 through 54 holes in that tournament. She again played all 12 tournaments that year for a total of 34 rounds of golf.

Dehlin Hirsch also had impressive first few seasons with the Wolverines. As a freshman, she was named Second Team All-WAC after she placed fifth overall in the WAC tournament, where she carded 6-over-par at 222. She posted the second best scoring average at 78.68 for the team. She also ranked second all-time in UVU history in single-season scores with 31. She also earned herself Academic All-WAC honors. A year later, she continued to put up strong numbers. She placed in the top-20 fives times and top-30 eight times. She again earned Academic All-WAC honors as well.

The UVU women golf team is something special, something worth following, and something worth cheering for, even if it’s just cheering them on during the WAC Championship. Even though both Raga and Dehlin Hirsch are graduating this year, as UVU head coach Sue Nyhus said at the beginning of this season, “This finish is a good indicator of just how deep our roster is.”
The Wolverines will compete in their final 54 holes of the season on April 18-20 in the WAC Championship. If history is a pattern for anything, UVU should be able to take another top-five spot, maybe even top-three. Follow the WAC tournament action next week on the WAC sports website.

Photo courtesy of UVU Athletics

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