Tulane starts Allstate Sugar Bowl with strong performance

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Tulane starts Allstate Sugar Bowl with strong performance

Susan Fanelli, Staff Reporter

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After finishing as the runner-up in the UCF Challenge on Feb. 9, Tulane’s woman’s golf returns to the links this week for its second February tournament and the sixth annual Allstate Sugar Bowl, which started Sunday and ends on Tuesday, hosted by Tulane at the Wave’s home gold course, the English Turn Golf and Country Club.

The five-woman team of seniors Emily Penttila, Madison Opfer, and Silvia Garces, along with junior Belen Goicoechea and first year Laura Munoz, play in a group for this year’s Allstate Sugar Bowl.  Freshmen Sofia Goicoechea and Abbie Cantwell also play as individuals.

“The main thing is that it’s on one of our beautiful home courses. We’re out here almost every day practicing,” head coach Lorne Don said. “The team loves it out here, and we’re getting a great week of practice in.”

Following the opening day Sunday, the Green Wave sits at No. 3 in the tournament.

“We came out early and the conditions were perfect and very similar to our second round last week at UCF, and just executed really nicely,” Don said. “We had a lot of birdie opportunities, made a lot of them and got off to a great start. The wind picked up about midway through our round, but we just kept fighting, we hung in and shot a really nice even par round.”

Senior Emily Pettila, entering her last semester of Tulane athletics, spoke of her practices in preparation for the home turf tournament.

“I’ve been working on my short game,” Pettila said. “We’ve been out on the course a lot just to make sure that we know the breaks on the green and knowing how we want to play the course.”

The tournament consists of 17 teams from all over the United States, including No. 3 UCLA and No. 6 defending national champion Stanford. 

“It’s a really strong field. We have some of the nation’s best teams here.” Don said.

This marks the sixth annual Allstate Sugar Bowl hosted by Tulane. Last year, Tulane placed fourth with a total score of one-over 73. Penttila and Garces both scored within the top ten at No. 5 and No. 6 over respectively, ending the final day on 15-over 303 behind LSU, UCLA, and Florida.

“I hope that I can go out there and have three solid rounds,” Penttila said.  “I’m really excited to be playing on our home course, seeing our fans there and getting all the support that we see at our tournaments. I’m really happy where I’m at with my game right now.”

Tulane heads into day two on a good foot. The Wave looks to hold onto its good standing as it rounds out play in the Allstate Sugar Bowl on Monday and Tuesday.

“I think we’re ready,” Don said. “We’ve really been practicing in some tough conditions. When we faced that in our last tournament at UCF, we were ready, so I think they’ll be ready for tomorrow. We just have to go in with a good attitude and know that there might be some tough spots you get into, but they just have to use their brains and their short-games and they’ll be fine.”