The Vassar College women’s Golf team kicked off their season on September 14, 2013. Since then, Vassar Sophomore Angela Mentel ’16 has had a stellar start to her season. She has been one of the few Brewers to compete in all three competitions so far this year. One of her best performances came about a week and a half ago at the Mount Holyoke Invitational. She started the par-72 course by shooting a 48 on the first nine holes to finish the final nine with a 36. She finished the next day carding an 88 giving her a final score of 172. She ended up 28 over par and tied for 32nd place overall. Due to conflicts the Brewers only competed three golfers at Mount Holyoke. But this past weekend, the Brewers headed over to Middlebury, Vermont for the Middlebury College Women’s Invitational. The team finished 5th out of 10 teams and Mentel garnered herself the 20th place overall.
Mentel has been incredibly impressed with her team’s performance so far for the fall season at Vassar.
“Our team has performed well so far this season…[We are] actually very promising. We are a very young team, and if we continue to grow we will certainly have a shot at catching Amherst and Middlebury in the upcoming years…I think our team is going to grow a lot this season…overall I think our team has done the best we can and we are looking ahead to continue our success.”
Mentel has also seen herself grow immensely this season compared to last year. Mentel expressed that she is very happy with her overall performance so far.
“So far I have competed in all three tournaments of the Season. At NYU, I shot a two day total of 170 and placed 21st out of 60 competitors. At Mount Holyoke, I struggled on the front nine the first day, but shot my lowest career nine holes on the back nine carding a 36 to finish with an 84 for day one. I finished day two with an 88 for a two day total of 172 and a 32 place finish among 86 competitors. This past weekend at Middlebury, I had my personal best 18 hole score of my Vassar career with an 81 on day one, and finished with a two day total of 171 coming in at 20th place out of 50 competitors. I am really pleased with how well I’ve been playing this season so far, and I’m pleased with my scoring average as of late with an 85.5, and I improved my totals from last years competition.”
But golf isn’t all that controls Mentel’s life at Vassar. She’s an active member of the Vassar community at large.
“When it comes to school,” she says, “I am definitely a student-athlete. Student coming before athlete. I manage to keep up with my academics by keeping in contact with professors and bringing along homework on tournament weekends. I am also the treasurer for the Vassar Catholic Community, and a member of the Vassar Democrats. I think that it is easy to balance all of these activities because they are organizations that I care about and am genuinely interested in participating in them.”
Mentel grew up in Columbus, Ohio and attended the Columbus School for Girls for 15 years before coming to Vassar. Mentel explained how golf has been a large part of her life since she was a young girl.
“My dad used to take me out to play golf when I was younger, but I didn’t seriously start competing until I was in the sixth grade. I really just started to enjoy it. Being on my high school team is what really pushed me to continue into the collegiate level. I wasn’t ready to completely give up competitive golf quite yet.”
This year’s team boasts three new freshman. They’ve graduated three seniors. Yet Mentel has been enjoying her season so far still has high hopes for the remainder of the year. She hopes the small squad has had a chance to bond and enjoy their collegiate golf experience.
“Our team changed in the same way many others do: we lost three seniors and two impact players, but we also gained three freshmen who are certainly bringing a lot to the team as well. I know that I’ve certainly enjoyed every minute of practicing and traveling with our intimate squad this year, and I certainly hope that they are enjoying it as well.”
Mentel also hopes to use this year as a rebuilding year and to help her team gain some experience while still being competitive and especially preparing them for the future and upcoming seasons.
“I briefly mentioned above that I am incredibly proud of how our team has done in competition. Like I said before, we are a very young team so it is especially important to get the freshmen out there playing in collegiate tournaments and gaining as much experience as possible in order to grow as a team. Seeing some of these courses and playing in all kinds of conditions will help our team grow for the future. I shot some pretty good rounds the past three tournaments with a few opportunities for improvement, but overall I think our team has done the best we can and we are looking ahead to continue our success.”
Mentel hopes to focus on keeping up her consistency this season. She feels stronger finishing after a bad nine holes to start but hopes to be able to put together two solid sets and keep on improving her short game.
Most athletes have small rituals before games or competitions and Mentel is no exception. She always fist bumps every member of her team before competition and tells them to have a blast and play well. She’s also rather superstitious about what sort of balls she uses.
“When it comes to golf balls, I always play Titleist ProV1X golf balls, but they have to be number ones, which basically means that they have to say number one on them. Sometimes when [they] do not work I will play number twos. Never threes or fours.”
Mentel and the women’s golf team will be back in action next weekend taking part in the Williams Invitational.