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Former women's golf player Hailey Hrynewich will start off the season after finishing in the top 10 in three straight summer tournaments. Last spring, Hrynewich finished in 10th place overall in the MAC championship. (FILE) 

Women's Golf: Individual title bright spot in Ohio's season

Ohio made improvements over the course of the season that saw some stumbling blocks. 

It was not expected for Ohio to continue the success it had the past few years with Hailey Hrynewich, one of the best golfers in Ohio history, who graduated with four individual tournament titles. 

Improvement was expected, with the other four players returning with more experience. Each golfer made some improvements, but it was a mixed bag of a season for the team.

The shining moment of the season was Emily Hughes' win in the Dolores Black Invitational. She was down five strokes going into the final round. It was the highest finish of the year for the team as it came in third out of 16 teams.

Hughes had a one-stroke improvement from her round average through her first two years at Ohio. She was at her best in the spring. She was the best finishing Bobcat twice and shot lower scores.

As a team, the best performance of the year came at the Nittany Lion Invitational on Sept. 23-24 with a 51 over par. It featured the best round of the year for the Bobcats, with a nine-over-par third round that was the Bobcats' only round below 300 on the year.

Nicole Smiley led the Bobcats in scoring average, and it was two strokes better than her career average. Smiley had two top-ten finishes in the fall but then struggled at the start of the spring.

Ashley Flynn competed in eight out of 10 tournaments for the Bobcats in her freshman year. Flynn had two rounds of three over par, along with 12 rounds of at least 10 over par, including one round of 24 over par.

Wrapping up her senior year, Lily Pendy was not able to shoot as low as in previous years — but she was more consistent. With a low round of 75 and an average of 78, the consistency was found for Pendy, even if it was not the scores that she would have liked to shoot.

Ohio ended the year by placing eighth at the Mid-American Conference championships. It was the lowest finish for the Bobcats in four years after having back-to-back third-place finishes. 

Four of the top five golfers will be returning next year, and they should be aiming higher if the improvements from this year continue.


Correction: A previous version of the photo caption misstated Hyrnewich's year. The photo caption has been updated to reflect the most accurate information.

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