Bulldogs Set To Host Monterey Bay Invitational
For the first time in nearly three weeks, the Drake women’s golf team returns to competition this week hosting the Monterey Bay Invitational Sunday (March 16) through Tuesday (March 18) in Monterey, Calif.
The 54-hole event contested at the Del Monte Golf Club swings into action with a shotgun start each day. On Sunday (March 16) play begins at 1:30 p.m. CT, while competition gets underway each of the final two days at 9:30 a.m. CT.
The six-team field includes: Central Oklahoma, Columbia, CSU Bakersfield, Drake, Northern Colorado and Rutgers.
A LOOK BACK
Freshman Sarah Browning (Midhurst, Ontario) fired a career-low 76 to pace Drake to a 15th-place finish on the final day of the Islander Classic on Feb. 25 at the Corpus Christi Country Club in Corpus Christi, Texas.
Led by 33rd-place finish and a 234 (75-77-82) scorecard from senior Hadley Jennings (Trenton, Mo.), the Bulldogs shot a 54-hole total of 990 (330-328-332).
Browning concluded her tournament tied for 63rd after recording a 247 (88-83-76) total.
Sophomore Katie Clausen (Hinton, Iowa) and juniors Danielle Brooks (Red Wing, Minn.) and Ashley Brooks (Red Wing, Minn.) rounded out the tournament for the Bulldogs with 54-hole scores of 254 (84-84-86/75th), 257 (83-84-90/76th) and 268 (90-88-88/81st), respectively.
DRAKE RESULTS: Hadley Jennings (75-77-82=234/T-33rd), Sarah Browning (88-83-76=247/T-63rd), Katie Clausen (84-84-86=254/75th), Danielle Brooks (83-84-90=257/76th) and Ashley Brooks (90-88-88=266/81st).
A YEAR AGO
Drake fired a final-round 323 on March 19, 2013, to conclude the Monterey Bay Invitational with a fourth-place showing at the Del Monte Golf Club in Monterey, Calif., after posting a tournament scorecard of 991 (328-340-323=991).
Chelsey Falk was the top finisher for the Bulldogs after carding a 79 over the final 18 holes to finished tied for fourth with a 54-hole total of 242 (79-84-79).
Hadley Jennings also turned in a 79 on the tournament’s final day to conclude her tournament with a ninth-place showing and a 244 (84-81-79) score.
Danielle Brooks wrapped her three-day efforts with a 245 (81-83-81) total, to earn a tie for 10th place.
After not competing in the tournament’s second round due to injury, Kimmy Askelson fired an 84 to wrap up her tournament with a 36-hole total of 172 (88-NA-84).
DRAKE RESULTS: Chelsey Falk (79-84-79=242/T-4th), Hadley Jennings (84-81-79=244/9th), Danielle Brooks (81-83-81=245/T-10th), Katie Clausen (84-92-96=272/31st), Ashley Brooks (90-95-88=273/32nd) and Kimmy Askelson (88-NA-84=172/34th).
• Drake has recorded three rounds of 79 or lower this spring through the Bulldogs’ efforts at the Islander Classic. Hadley Jennings owns two of the three rounds of 79 or better, while Sarah Browning posted the other.
• Jennings leads Drake with a 78.0 scoring average this spring. She is followed by Sarah Browning (82.3), Katie Clausen (84.7), Danielle Brooks (85.6) and Ashley Brooks (88.7).
• Jennings leads the Bulldogs with a team-best 11 rounds in the 70’s this past season. Danielle Brooks nearly matched her efforts firing 10 rounds in the 70’s.
• Jennings recorded the Bulldogs’ low round of the year, shooting a 72 to open the Redbird Invitational.
• As a team, the Bulldogs’ best round came over the first 18 holes of the Redbird Invitational as Drake carded a 300.
• Two Drake players enter play the at Monterey Bay Invitational with scoring averages in the 70’s this season. Jennings leads the way with a team-low 77.8, followed by Arianna Gastelum (78.3).
EXPERIENCED SQUAD RETURNS FOR DRAKE
The Bulldogs return an experienced squad this season as senior Hadley Jennings, junior Danielle Brooks and sophomore Katie Clausen played in all 10 tournaments for Drake a year ago, while junior Ashley Brooks appeared in eight events. Added to the mix this season is a pair of freshmen in Sarah Browning and Arianna Gastelum. Rounding out the squad is redshirt junior Cristina Bowery (Carmel, Calif.).
DRAKE HEAD COACH LEANNE SMITH
Leanne Smith is in her fourth season as head women’s golf coach for the Bulldogs after serving as an assistant coach with the Drake men’s and women’s golf programs from 2006-10.
This past season, Drake earned top-10 finishes in six of the 10 tournaments the Bulldogs played in. Injuries to Kimmy Askelson and Cristina Bowery altered the lineup for Smith allowing her to provide valuable playing experience to her newcomers. Hadley Jennings registered a team-best 78.9 scoring average over 30 rounds, while Chelsey Falk and Danielle Brooks posted 80.0 and 81.7 scoring averages, respectively, in 30 rounds apiece.
Falk closed out her Drake women’s golf career in style shooting a 79 during the final round of the MVC Championship to earn a ninth-place finish. By virtue of her showing, Falk collected top-18 flag honors with a 54-hole mark of 244 (82-83-79). Only four golfers turned in a lower score over the final 18 holes than did Falk.
The Bulldogs garnered 42 rounds in the 70’s this fall, including a team-best performance from Jennings scoring 79 or better in a team-best 17 rounds during the season.
Off the course, Jennings garnered first-team MVC Scholar-Athlete accolades for the first time.
In 2012, Drake turned in top-10 finishes in six of its 10 tournament appearances. Smith guided the Bulldogs through a campaign in which Drake was challenged by injuries, including its top-scoring individual, Askelson, who was lost due to injury.
Askelson directed the Bulldogs with a team-low 79.7 scoring average in 12 rounds, while Jennings turned in an 80.1 average in 28 rounds.
In her initial campaign leading the Drake program she guided the Bulldogs to four top-six finishes, including three during the spring season.
Michelle Mathwick and Falk paced Drake, registering two-round totals of 155 to finish tied for 14th at the State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Championship. By virtue of her top-18 finish; Jennings joined the duo in receiving one of the coveted tournament flags given to the top-18 individuals in the standings.
Off the course, Mathwick, Jennings and Kaitlyn Mauk were named to the National Golf Coaches Association All-American Scholar-Athlete team, while Mathwick was selected as a first-team All-MVC Scholar-Athlete honoree.
Mathwick paced the Bulldogs in 2011 with a team-best 78.1 scoring average.
In eight years, Drake has scored six All-American Scholars in Katie Clausen (2013), Jennings (2011, 2012, 2013), Olivia Lansing (2008, 2009), Michelle Mathwick (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011), Kaitlyn Mauk (2011) and Elena Vukmir (2008,2009).
Lansing also garnered All-MVC medalist honors in 2008 and 2010, while earning an at-large berth in the 2010 NCAA Central Regional.
Smith, a Creston, Iowa, native was a four-year letterwinner at Iowa State, earning Big 12 Academic All-Conference honors in 2002 and 2003. She earned a bachelor of science degree in marketing, with a coaching minor, in 2004. She later added an MBA from Drake in 2009.
Smith played in the U.S. Amateur in 2001 and 2004 as well as the 2004 U.S. Women’s Public Links Championship. She won the Des Moines Women’s City Tournament in 2002 and 2004 and finished runner-up in the 2009 Iowa Women’s Amateur Golf Championship and placed third in 2012.
Smith turned pro in November of 2005 and played in the Futures Tour for two years.
Leanne and her husband, Russ, have two daughters, Adelaide and Eva, and one son, Graham.
The Bulldogs travel to Kansas City, Mo., to compete in the UMKC Spring Invitational (April 7-8).