KERRVILLE, Texas — It’s the biggest tournament of the year, but you wouldn’t know it from talking to the Tarleton Women’s Golf Team.
The WAC Women’s Golf Championship begins Monday, the final tournament of the season that serves as the ultimate competition for any Western Athletic Conference team all year. For some reason, Tarleton is pretty loose heading into the three-day event.
“This tournament is about fun, really,” said the head coach Isabelle Jiménez mentioned. “We go there and we play individually, we can’t play as a team because of the (upgrade to NCAA Division I). So, I told them it’s time to take advantage of it. You can play more to yourself without thinking, “Oh, if I’m wrong, I’ll ruin the whole team’s score.” So hopefully they come with good vibes.”
Good vibes shouldn’t be a problem for Tarleton’s 2021-22 scoring leader, Matilda Brogens. The rookie has been on a tear lately, posting two top-five finishes in his last three tournaments. And when things go wrong, you wouldn’t know it.
“With Mat, she’s been really ready all season, so all we need is to keep going,” Jimenez said. “She seems to be in control of her emotions and her acting, so she’s doing great.”
Brogens leads the Texans with an average gross score of 76.8, narrowly missing out on a first-place finish at the Cardinal Challenge two weeks ago, finishing just one stroke behind to win the silver medal.
“I’m excited for the course, it should be great fun,” Brogens said. “Also, I must say that this is the first time that I have participated in the conference [tournament], the whole team – like, what I heard from other players, the conference is just different. It’s more exciting, more to play (for), just the whole experience, I guess.”
The 2022 WAC Women’s Golf Championship will be played at Riverhill Country Club in Kerrville, Texas. Originally the site of the canceled 2020 WAC Women’s Golf Championship and for the first time since 2004 the WAC Championship will be played in Texas. Riverhill CC has hosted over 40 USGA and Texas Golf Association events.
There will be 12 teams participating in the tournament – California Baptist, Chicago State, Dixie State, Grand Canyon, Lamar, New Mexico State, Sam Houston, Seattle U, Stephen F. Austin, Tarleton, UTRGV and Utah Valley.
“There is no team score, but we can always add up our four best scores and see where we are, and that’s something I’m looking forward to because now we can see all the teams. from the WAC and be able to compare our scores to theirs and see where we are,” Jimenez said. “If we can see ourselves in the top five, top six, I think that would be a success. And also the girls can still win an individual title or win an individual award, so to see some of them in the top-10 and close to that goal, I think it will be a success.”
Sophie Rodriguez nearly cracked the top 10 last year in the same tournament. She took 12th place with rounds of 74-72-78 to go +8 at Boulder Creek Golf Club in Boulder City, Nevada.
Rodriguez, a sophomore, is second on the team in scoring this season with an average gross score of 77.6. She has just signed her best result of the season, sixth place in the Cardinal Challenge standings.
Rodríguez, Alejandra Cambroneroand Marianella Moreschi are the only Texans with experience in this tournament. Cambronero was tied for 23rd last year with rounds of 82-75-76 to go +17, while Moreschi was tied for 38th at +36.
“I feel like I’ve worked on my mental game a lot and my technique as well, so I’m pretty comfortable going into this tournament,” Cambronero said. “I’m going to try to get into that top 20, and if I do better than that, I’ll be happy. I’m just going to do my best, and as long as I do that, I’m going to be happy.”
Tarleton will also have Bridgett Joeris and Angela Inocian participate to complete the group of six women. Both are freshmen who have played in every tournament this season. Joeris’ best score was +19 at the Lady Red Wolves Classic, the same event Inocian also achieved his best score, at +14.
Warm but cloudy conditions are expected Monday and Tuesday at the tournament, with a chance of rain Wednesday. WAC Women’s Golf Championship Live Scores Available here.