Tarleton bringing loose, ‘fun’ mentality to WAC Women’s Golf Championship in Kerrville

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KERRVILLE – It’s the biggest tournament of the year, but you wouldn’t know it talking to the Tarleton women’s golf team.

Beginning Monday is the WAC Women’s Golf Championship, the last tournament of the season that serves as the ultimate competition any Western Athletic Conference team faces all year. For one reason or another, Tarleton is fairly loose heading into the three-day event.

“This tournament is all about fun, really,” head coach Isabel Jimenez said. “We go and we play individually, we cannot play as a team because of the (reclassification to NCAA Division I). So, I’ve been telling them this is the time to enjoy it. You can play more for yourself without thinking, ‘Oh, if I mess up, I’m going to mess up the whole team score.’ So, I’m hoping they come with good vibes.”

Good vibes should be no problem for Tarleton’s 2021-22 scoring leader, Mathilde Brogens. The freshman has been on a tear of late, posting two top-five finishes in her last three tournaments. And when things are going rough, you wouldn’t know it.

“With Mat, she’s been really ready all season, so all we need is to keep going the same way she’s going,” Jimenez said. “She seems to be under control of her emotions and her game, so she’s been doing very good.”

Brogens leads the Texans with an average gross score of 76.8, just missing out on a first-place finish at the Cardinal Challenge two weeks ago, finishing a single stroke back to take the silver medal.

“I’m excited for the course, it should be very nice,” Brogens said. “Also, I should say this is my first time doing the conference [tournament], the whole team – like, what I’ve heard from the other players, 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 the Riverhill Country Club in Kerrville, Texas. Originally the site for 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’s no team score, but we can still add up our best four scores and see where we stand, and that’s something I’m looking forward to, because now we get to see all of the WAC teams and be able to compare our scores to theirs and see where we stand,” Jimenez said. “If we can see ourselves within 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 seeing some of them in the top-10 and close to reaching that goal, I think that will be a success.”

Sofia Rodriguez nearly cracked the top-10 last year in this same tournament. She took 12th 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 is coming off of her best finish of the season, sixth place on the leaderboard at the Cardinal Challenge.

Rodriguez, Alejandra Cambronero, and Marianella Moreschi are the only Texans with experience in this tournament. Cambronero tied for 23rd last year with rounds of 82-75-76 to go +17, while Moreschi tied for 38th at +36.

“I feel like I’ve been working a lot on my mental game, and technique too, so I’m pretty comfortable going into this tournament,” Cambronero said. “I’m going to try and 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’ll be happy.”

Tarleton will also have Bridgett Joeris and Angela Inocian participating to round out the six-woman group. 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 turned in her best score as well, at +14.

Warm but cloudy conditions are expected Monday and Tuesday at the tournament, with a possibility of rain on Wednesday. Live scoring of the WAC Women’s Golf Championship can be found here.

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