2004 Women's Golf Preview
Experience is evident as the Wildcats return six of eight players this fall, including senior Christine Boucher, who leads the Wildcat team. Also returning are seniors Karen Quintelier and Morgan Hagler, juniors Sarah Heffel and Stephanie Limoges and sophomore Julie Kim. New to the squad are freshmen Katy Heffel and Helene Robert, both of whom have competed in nearly each tournament in the fall.
"I think the qualifying competition will be great this year," head coach Kristi Knight said. "The traveling five spots will be very competitive. That is very exciting to me. It's what you want as a coach. It shows the program is getting stronger and getting deeper. The competition will make everyone better."
More than the competition for the traveling spots, Knight is excited about the possibilities this roster poses for all the success this team is capable of.
"As a coach you hope that everyone on your roster has the ability to get into the lineup," Knight said. "This year we have a roster full of players with the ability to travel."
Knight is in her ninth year as K-State’s head women’s golf coach. After playing for the
Each of the players cites Knight as being fair, honest and fun.
"Coach makes me laugh and really helps me to relax on the course," Boucher said.
As in most activities, a leader on an athletic team is necessary to help build a drive, to create an energy, to set an example and to stimulate success. For the K-State women's golf team, that leader is Boucher. Coming off a successful spring in which she placed 64th at the NCAA Championships, Boucher has emerged as the team's leadership figure in the tournaments this fall.
"I think her success motivates the other girls," Knight said. "Christine really wants to go back to Nationals as a team. Christine communicated to her teammates how much more fun it would have been for her to have them there and I think the team has responded to that."
Boucher, the first Wildcat to qualify for Nationals since Jim Colbert in 1964, has proven she can fill the shoes of a team leader. Boucher placed in the top five of every tournament in the fall, winning both the Chip-N Club Invitational and the Price’s Give Em Five Challenge.
The 2002-03 season was the best for the Wildcats in the program's history and Knight believes that will motivate the team to achieve even more success this year.
"Being in the hunt for Nationals meant a lot to our girls," Knight said. "This year is going to be fun. We're going to work hard. We've got a great schedule. We are going to try to do things everyday to make ourselves better so that come the end of the year, we can reach our goals."
The team continues to progress steadily toward those goals by achieving little by little, working hard tournament by tournament.
On Sept. 15-16, the Chip-N-Club Invitational in
Hosting the Marilynn Smith Sunflower Invitational Oct. 13-14, the Wildcats survived a stretch of nasty weather to win the tournament on their home course. Five Wildcats finished in the top 20, including Boucher, tied for third, Quintelier, tied for sixth, Limoges, tied for ninth, Sarah Heffel, tied for 14th and Robert, tied for 18th. The team shot its best tournament round at Colbert Hills in the first round, a 302, and finished ahead of rival
An experienced roster, with six returnees and a coach in her ninth year, leadership in senior Christine Boucher, motivation from last year's season and the achievements of this fall season are sure to be key ingredients in the Wildcats' success this golf season. The perfect combination of all these elements are sure to add up to create a masterpiece no chef, or coach, could resist.