Championship Preview: Women's Golf Optimisitc in Return to Team Race

Thursday, April 26, 2012

After working late into the night Monday setting up her senior thesis photography exhibition at the Martin Art Gallery, Amanda Heiberger was up early on Tuesday for her internship at KidsPeace Hospital.

“I work best when I’m busy,” the only senior on the Muhlenberg women’s golf team said as she hurried from her internship to class.

Amanda Heiberger
Heiberger has set a new career low each time she’s competed this season.
That’s a good thing, because her schedule will get even more hectic when she and the team head to the Centennial Conference Championships this Saturday and Sunday at Hanover Country Club in Abbottstown, Pa.

It’s the first time the two-time champion Mules will be sending a full team to the tournament since Heiberger’s freshman year. And while that fact alone is a welcomed change for the lone upperclassman on the squad, she said she feels the team is capable of a solid showing.

“I’m feeling really confident,” she said. “I’m really proud of the team; it’s a lot different feel than other years. Everyone came in with so much interest this year, and everyone’s been working hard all season.”

On main reason for Heiberger’s optimism has been the play of Christina Bryde. The freshman has finished in the top 10 at both of the Mules’ tournaments this season, including tying for medalist honors at the Ursinus Invitational with an 84, the lowest round by a Mule since 2007.

Her 86.5 average would rank fourth in the conference she met the minimum number of rounds required to qualify for the conference rankings.

“Christina has played absolutely wonderfully this year,” Heiberger said. “She keeps getting better and better. I’m a senior, and I look up to her and how she plays. She has helped make everyone on the team better.”

Fellow freshman Katie Seeman made an impressive 28-shot improvement between the Mules’ first and second tournaments, and Heiberger shaved four strokes off her previous career best at Ursinus.

As a team, the Mules improved by 31 shots in their second tournament, and Heiberger said that has carried over into their practice rounds. She said the team’s camaraderie has helped everyone get better as individuals, and she hopes it continues this weekend.

Being the only Mule with championship experience, she said she has tried to prepare her teammates for their first two-day tournament of the season. But she doesn’t want them to get too tight. She’s trying to create a loose atmosphere, which she believes will best suit the Mules.

“The most important thing is to have fun,” Heiberger said. “With golf, you can get caught up with stress, and that doesn’t help your game. I look to the younger players for inspiration to improve, and they look to me as someone that’s been there before to help keep them calm.

“As long as we all stay relaxed, I think we can keep getting better. And hopefully we’ll play the best that we can.”
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