Women’s golf, Mateer win HAAC title

Story by Jim Joyner, Sports Editor

The women’s golf team started the postseason with a 33-stroke win for its third consecutive Heart of America Athletic Conference championship on Tuesday at Indian Foothills Golf Course in Marshall, Missouri. Junior Lindsey Mateer led the way for the women’s team’s championship by shooting consecutive rounds of 78 a for a two-day total of 156. Junior Lindsey Mateer poses with her most recent golf awards. Mateer won the individual title at the HAAC Championship in Marshall, Missouri, as well as HAAC Player of the Year.Chad Phillips

“I was pretty excited that we won, and winning individual was great,” Mateer said. “The last two years I haven’t done very well at conference, so this is a big feat for me.”

Going into the tournament Mateer had an approach of taking every hole one shot at a time.

“I knew I could play well at this course, so I just had to keep reminding myself to stay calm and have fun,” Mateer said. “I think it really helped playing with girls from other teams I knew and have become friends with over the last few years.”

Mateer trailed by two strokes to Culver-Stockton’s Lucy Clark after day one but gained the lead back on day two when Clark shot an 82. Mateer double bogeyed the 17th hole and, walking to the 18th tee box, she was told that she had to par the hole to win the tournament.

“I told myself I’m going to birdie this,” Mateer said.

Mateer’s tee shot landed just short of a fairway bunker and her approach shot was her best shot of the tournament as she stuck the shot within four feet of the pin.

“It took me 36 holes to finally get a putt to fall and mark down a birdie on my scorecard,” Mateer said. “It was great having all my teammates be there to watch me sink that putt to win.”

Mateer’s birdie on 18 sealed the deal for her individual title. However she could have 15-putted the final hole and the team would have still won the tournament by a safe margin. Baker’s team score of 660 was 33 strokes better than Central Methodist and Peru State’s 693 for second place.

Freshman Bailey Gibson was second for Baker with an 84 on day one and an 82 on the second day. Gibson tied for sixth in the tournament. Sophomore Kaci Dillingham finished ninth overall with a two-day score of 169. Freshman Bailey Rockers was tied for 13th at 175 and senior Emma Tinsley finished with a two day total of 181 and 17th place.

“Everyone played well,” Mateer said. “We were all pretty consistent with how we have been playing this whole year.”

The next step for Baker is the NAIA Women’s Golf National Championship on May 9-16 at the Savannah Quarters Country Club in Pooler, Georgia. Mateer hopes to carry the momentum from her individual conference title into the national tournament by making the cut and playing in the final round.

“Going into nationals, I hope to play consistent golf like I have been this season,” Mateer said. “I know it is going to be a lot of fun and a great experience.”