The Texans are en route to San Antonio for their first tournament of the spring season. It will be a two-day, three-round event dubbed the Islander Classic at Brackenridge Golf Course that starts on Monday.
Traveling for this one in order is Mathilde Brogens, Sofia Rodriguez, ALejandra Cambronero, Andela Inocian and Bridgett Joeris.
This is Brogens’ first tournament at Tarleton’s No. 1 position, typically held by the veteran Rodriguez. Brogens, a freshman from Denmark, had a strong start to her first year at Tarleton, averaging a gross round score of 76.9 across her 12 rounds of tournament play.
“She has a lot of talent,” head coach Isabel Inocian said. “She has changed a lot of technical things already from the fall until now, so I think that’s given her a lot of confidence and I think she’s going to do a lot better this season.”
Her best tournament in the fall was at the Lady Red Wolves Classic in Jonesboro, Arkansas, at Sage Meadows Country Club. There she finished tied-17th at +5 overall through 54 holes, shooting 72-74-75.
Rodriguez owns the best average gross score on the team at 75.9, turning in a tied-10th finish, also at the Lady Red Wolves Classic.
“Sofia’s a great player overall,” Jimenez said. “She has a lot of experience. She’s a fighter. Even if she has a round that starts a little rocky, she knows how to overcome that. So, I think that’s her biggest strength. Overall, she’s a really strong player.”
As for the three players to round out the group, Jimenez had similar sentiments regarding each of them – they are very talented and hard-working. They simply need more confidence to flourish.
Cambronero, a sophomore, played in two tournaments in the fall, averaging a gross score of 80.2 in her six rounds. Her best round was a +6, 77 at the Missouri State Payne Stewart Memorial at the Twin Oaks Country Club in Springfield, Missouri.
Inocian and Joeris are freshmen, who each played in every tournament in the fall to start their Tarleton careers. Coincidentally, both averaged the same gross score across their 12 rounds of 79.8. Inocian’s best tournament was a +14 overall at the Lady Red Wolves Classic. Joeris also had her best tournament there at +19.
As a team, Tarleton’s best finish was 11th at the Huntsville Toyota Bearkat Invitational in Huntsville, their second tournament. The Texans’ best team score was at the Lady Red Wolves Classic, their third tournament, at +41.
“The fall season was a little rough on us,” Jimenez said. “We didn’t get the scores that we were hoping for. When we came back from the summer break, I was very confident that the girls were going to do OK, because what I was seeing in practice, I loved it. But we didn’t put practice into action. I think it was a lot related to mental blockage. In golf, the mental part is very important. But I think this break has helped us to overcome that, and I’m very hopeful for this upcoming spring.”
The mental part is no more important to any other sport than it is to golf. So, how do you get past that mental block?
“It’s time, it’s maturity, it’s experience,” Jimenez said. “I have a very young team. I only really have one junior, all the rest are either freshmen or sophomores. So, I think they’re going to get there. With experience, by putting them into situations where they’re under pressure and they need to overcome that in practice – the key is to get them to be comfortable in uncomfortable situations.”
As far as this tournament is concerned, the women’s golf coach told her players she wants them to not put so much pressure on themselves, when the game already adds enough pressure, and to simply have some fun out there. And as far as the spring in general, Jimenez expects a much improved team.
“I think it’s going to be a lot better than before,” Jimenez said. “They already know, especially the freshmen, what they need to do to be at the top. Division I golf is not a joke. Division II wasn’t either, but Division I you have to play a lot better. I think now they know what they need to do, and I also think they know what they’re capable of doing, because they’ve been doing it in practice. They did it in some rounds in the fall, but I think they’re even more ready this spring.”