Women’s Golf: New season, new outlook

PUTTING FOR VICTORY: Freshman golfer Christina Hirano recently played a three round tournament in Kentucky, finishing tied in 60th place. FILE PHOTO // Steve Root.

The University of Miami women’s golf team can be described as a team in a rebuilding phase, a team looking for a new beginning.  

However, for head coach Lela Cannon and her players, they do not see things as all else see them. They don’t see this as a young team that is building itself back up. Instead, they see the potential to be better right now. 

The team finished eighth at last season’s ACC Championships and they have lost a great deal of experience and leadership, as a number of players on last season’s team were seniors.

Don’t tell this to the players and coaches on this season’s squad, as they will have none of it. They know veteran players have left, and they know they were not very good last year, but they expect to change that culture and get back to their winning ways.

“Last season was a great disappointment. We had too many illnesses and injuries,” Cannon said. “I don’t want to talk about last season though, because it is past and we are really looking forward to this year, where we think we have a chance to do some really good things.”

The team has added four freshmen to the roster, two of which are ranked as junior players, that Cannon said bring a fresh attitude.

Cannon also said that the problems last season were not in the fundamentals of the team or the way that they played on the golf course.

“It helps to have players that want to go out and play hard and want to be there, and now we have that,” Cannon said.

Cannon acknowledges that this year’s squad brings a positive attitude to the golf course. This attitude and the players’ skill have left the team aiming high. 

The goal: To finish as a top five team in the ACC.

“I tell people that I want to go as high as I can go,” Cannon said. “Sure, you would like to be near the top, but it is too early to tell what the other teams have been doing. So I just want to go as high as I can go.”

The quest for a new beginning starts this weekend in Charleston, S.C.  This will be one of three tournaments in Charleston for the team this year. In addition, the team will travel to Greensboro, N.C., Greenville, N.C., San Jose, Calif., and Atlanta, Ga.

Additionally, the team will also host two tournaments in Miami Lakes.

Cannon and the team are looking forward to improving on what many of them thought was an underachieving year last season. Cannon feels like the team now has the right pieces in place to bring a winning culture back to the golf program.

“This year is going to be really exciting,” Cannon said. “We’re looking at a new year and new players. We expect to do a whole lot better.”