Lady Topper golfers head to SBC Championship

Andrew Weigel

The WKU women’s golf team is looking to claim the Sun Belt Conference Championship in Muscle Shoals, Ala., next week.

The tournament kicks off on Monday and last until Wednesday.

Coach Ron Burchett said he has been pleased with his team’s performance so far this season, despite playing through troubling weather for much of the season.

“We’ve had some rough weather this year, making it tough to practice due to field conditions,” he said.

Multiple tournaments the Lady Toppers have taken part in have been cut short due to bad weather this season. At the Lower Country Intercollegiate on March 25 in Hilton Head, South Carolina, the event was shortened to just one round due to weather conditions.

Coming off a finish where they tied for seventh place in the Lower Country Intercollegiate, the Lady Toppers are hoping for better weather for the conference tournament on Monday, and Burchett is confident with the five players he has decided to send to the tournament.

Three of the five players have already played the course at Muscle Shoals, and Burchett believes that gives WKU an advantage.

Senior Kelsey Burrell will provide a veteran presence, and sophomore April Butler will look to improve on her 14th-place finish at the Lower Country Intercollegiate. She and senior teammate Dawn Wientjes shot 83 in the single-round event.

Sophomore Kate Larimore and freshmen Michaela Bordeianu and Ellinor Haag will also represent WKU in the event.

Haag and Bordeianu are from Sweden and are the first international players in program history. Haag posted a career-best final round 69 at the 2013 Edwin Watts/Kiawah Island Classic on March 5th. Bordeianu finished in a tie for 11th place at the Blue Raider Invitational in October, a career best.

As for the competition, Burchett said he has been impressed with the conference as a whole, but in particular with Florida International University.

“They have had a very strong season,” Burchett said. “They actually have seven girls in the top ten in scoring average in the conference.”

Burchett said he’s also been impressed with Middle Tennessee State and looks forward to seeing what new Sun Belt Conference member Georgia State has to offer.

He said he is optimistic about the conference championship and looks forward to trying to win before WKU moves to the Conference USA in 2014.

“We’d like to win one here before we leave the Sun Belt,” he said.