Women’s golf stuns Ryder Cup team

Photo credit: Gettysburg College Athletics

By Claire Healey, Sports Editor

The Gettysburg College Women’s golf team had quite the tournament this past week. The Lady Bullets came away with an unexpected win against the 2016 Ryder Cup team.

The champion American team famously beat the European team in a dominant 17-11 score on American soil. They decided last fall to give back to the amazing American fans by playing Ryder Cup style singles matches against college teams.

The Gettysburg women were chosen from a fan contest submitted by senior captain Sarah Hansen. She entered the team on a golf.com contest and used their impressive record in the Centennial Conference to convince the team to pay Gettysburg a visit.

In true Ryder Cup fashion, Gettysburg head coach Susan Konstalid and Ryder Cup team captain Davis Love III announced the pairings for Sunday’s singles matches on Golf Channel. The anticipation was building about who Konstalid would name to play the first match of the day against Ryder Cup star Patrick Reed.

Konstalid went for the defending Centennial Conference champion, senior Sarah Hansen, to take down the champ. The pairings went as follows: Cooney vs. Spieth, Davis vs. Holmes, Feeney vs. Fowler, Fireman vs. Walker, Frankiewicz vs. Mickelson, Hatcher vs. Moore, Martin vs. Snedeker, Marini vs. D. Johnson, McFeaters vs. Koepka, Schroeder vs. Kuchar, and finally Sessa vs. Z. Johnson.

The matches were looking good for an exciting afternoon of golf, even if the Ryder Cup team was expected to win every match. The Bullets were hoping to at least keep things close as the day got started.

To start the first match, Reed went two up on Hansen through the front nine, which was expected, but Coach Konstalid was hopeful because she expected each match to go nine down with nine to play, but Hansen halved several holes.

Things started to heat up after the turn when Hansen won her first hole of the day. Reed was clearly shaken by Hansen’s impressive scrambling around the greens and seemed to lose concentration. Hansen would then win the 10th through the 12th to go one up in the match. Reed couldn’t stage a comeback.

The news of Hansen’s victory trickled through the course as the Gettysburg women were informed they had the first point. It was like a switch was flipped and the ladies were suddenly driving the ball further, hitting fairways and greens with incredible accuracy and putting like Jordan Spieth during the 2015 summer season.

Davis, Feeney, Hatcher and Schroeder all came back to within one hole of their opponents, but were unable to stage the ultimate comebacks.

Cooney vs. Spieth, Fireman vs. Walker and Marini vs. D. Johnson all ended up being halved. Cooney was able to outdrive Spieth on the final five holes to come back from a six down deficit and tie up the match on the 18th.

Fireman and Walker were tied for most of the back nine and she was able to close out the half point with a 20-foot birdie putt on the final hole. Walker stood speechless as he thought the match and full point would be his with his incredible approach shot that put him just inches from the cup.

Frankiewicz, Martin and McFeaters each came away with a victory and point for the Bullets. Frankiewicz had been either tied or one up on Mickelson all day, so her victory was secured on the 17th green with an incredible chip.

Martin and McFeaters had both gone two down at some point in their matches, but each came back to win. Martin holed it on the 16th from 123 yards out. Snedeker looked stunned but gave Martin credit in his post match interview for her nerves of steel under the pressure of being one up with two to play.

The match came down to Sessa vs. Z. Johnson, two clutch players for their teams. The match had been tied all day with no one having won an individual hole when Johnson hit a perfect tee shot off 18. Sessa, however, came back with superb putting to birdie while Johnson three putted and pared.

The Gettysburg College Women’s Golf team will hope to build off this success as they’ve now been invited to become a Division I team. They will play next at the Silverado Showdown, April 9-11th against the best in college golf.

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Author: Claire Healey

Claire Healey '18 is a sociology major with a minor in education. She is currently the editor of the sports section and has been a staff writer for the sports section since her freshman year. She is a member of the Alpha Omicron Pi sorority and has served on their executive board for two years. She also volunteers with the Challah for Hunger organization on campus.

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