Texas ready for final tune-up before postseason

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With two weeks left before the Longhorns defend their Big 12 title, Texas is taking advantage of an open weekend and putting in some final competitive action against highly ranked Vanderbilt.

“We knew in the fall we’d have an extra day, and with the national championship being hosted there, we thought about having a little one-day competition there,” said head coach Martha Richards.

This weekend’s matchup will not be of conventional stroke-play, but played in twosomes with a play-six-count-five scoring method. This basically means out of every six holes, the best five results for each player are counted, totaling 15 holes out of 18 played.

“The biggest thing I want to see from the group this weekend is how we’ve been building as a team, with team camaraderie,” Richards said. “It’s a little bit different in golf because you’re playing by yourself, but you can still get a lot of energy from each other. Individually, I want each one of them to take care of their business.”

After a frustrating spring full of inconsistent play, Texas finally broke through in their last tournament, finishing 7th overall against some tough competition in Arizona.

“I was really happy and they did a good job,” Richards said. “We always seem to play well out there and they like the way that tournament feels. It’s always fun to play against the top ranked teams.”

Freshman Bertine Strauss broke onto the scene with an impressive second round to leap into contention. With Strauss adding to the experienced squad of senior Nicole Vandermade, juniors Madison Pressel, Haley Stephens and Desiree Debreuil, Texas is ready to show the country what they are capable of as a group.

“We’ve played good golf, but they feel like they haven’t played as well as they can yet,” Richards said. “I keep telling them that we are really, really close, but now we’ve been working on finding that dig deep factor and trying to find a way to get the ball in the hole.”

Printed on Friday, April 13, 2012 as: Texas faces Vandy before defending Big 12 crown