Women having best season in years

As the years go on, it only gets better for the womenâÄôs golf team. Currently the team is ranked No. 56 in Golfweek. At the end of the 2006-07 season, the team was No. 119 and last year they were No. 108. âÄúIâÄôm going to assume itâÄôs their best ranking in the last 15 years based on what IâÄôve seen,âÄù director of golf Brad James said. James entered the picture last year when, after being with the menâÄôs team for 15 years, he took over as the director of golf for both teams. Last year was a time of change with the addition of four first years in Michele Edlin, Mary Narzisi, Teresa Puga and Samantha Sommers. âÄúThose four players have played an extremely important role into the success of the program,âÄù James said. Senior Kelli Berns agrees, âÄúOur sophomores are really good; theyâÄôre better than me.âÄù Along with line-up changes to give younger players an opportunity to play, James changed the teamâÄôs approach to practice and tournaments and the way in which the team practiced and worked out. âÄúItâÄôs not like we didnâÄôt work out before,âÄù Berns said. âÄúNow we are doing it a little more effectively. Before we were kind of just going through the motions of doing it and now everything we do has a purpose. âÄú Each player knows what they are going to work on before they get to practice. Berns favors this because it makes practice go by quicker and she knows what she needs to accomplish each practice. The agenda gives her confidence at tournaments since she knows she has done the right things in practice. The team doesnâÄôt focus on the players as a team, but rather as individuals and how each player is going to work with the coaching staff to improve. âÄúWe never tried to get the team better; we just tried to work on everyoneâÄôs individual aspect which, in essence, eventually makes the team better. We are seeing some of those results come to fruition now,âÄù James said. The results are starting to show with this past weekendâÄôs third place finish at the Badger Invite in Verona, Wisc. In 2005, the team finished last. âÄúIt feels good to beat teams that I havenâÄôt beat since IâÄôve been here,âÄù Berns said, who has been on the team since 2004. Berns has improved individually as well. As a first year in 2004, she played in five events with 24th place as her best finish. In the 2006-07 seasons, Berns played in all ten tournaments and averaged 79.41 strokes per round. This season, Berns played in all three tournaments so far and shot an even par score of 71 to finish second at the Wolverine Invite in Ann Arbor, Mich., Sept. 14, 2008. However, the team still has room for improvement and each player sees parts of their game that can be worked on. James considers third place a great accomplishment considering the teams and individuals that competed. âÄúWe definitely have room for improvement,âÄù James said. âÄúBut at the same time we are having success while we are working on these aspects of their games.âÄù