The 'Krewe' | Women's Golf

The 2016-2017 Women’s Golf Season has been nothing short of special. Records were broken, and then broken again.

How special has it really been?

Almost 10 whole strokes better, down from 306.45 (18-over par) to 297.04 (9-over par) strokes per round. The Golden Eagles have had three team wins, and two individual wins. And they’ve earned the lowest ranking ever in school history at 67th in the nation. One could easily say the Golden Eagles are one of the most improved teams in a season, as they made the move up 67 spots from 134th in the Golfstat.com Rankings.

Coach Erika Brennan and her ‘Krewe’ knew this was going to be a noteworthy season when they won the South Alabama Intercollegiate right out of the gates.

On why her team is referred to as a ‘Krewe’, Brennan said, “To me, a crew is…a blue-collar workforce. I think it means hard work and sacrifice. And that’s what the team lives, so I started calling us a ‘crew’. And since we’re close to New Orleans and that’s the culture, we changed it to ‘Krewe’ because it also represents a fun and happy vibe which I think also sums up this team perfectly.”

The South Alabama Intercollegiate win included the lowest 18-hole total at 289, (1-over par) ever for the Golden Eagles. They tied this 18-hole score one more time in front of the home crowd at the Golden Eagle Jam in October, before smashing the record at the Kiawah Island Intercollegiate in January by shooting an 8-under par, 280.

“The team came together in a way this season that is so rare. Top to bottom they created a vision and stuck with it even on days when the results didn’t go our way,” said Brennan.

The addition of transfers Nichada Satasuk (Chiangmai, Thailand), from Seminole State CC, and Kayla Bloor (Niceville, Fla.), from Florida State have helped the team’s success this season; and they have accounted for each of the two individual wins.

Satasuk has earned four top-10 finishes in eight starts on the season. “My game has been improving a lot since I’ve gotten to USM and the tournaments are more competitive, so it made my game better. I think the team and coaches get along with each other pretty well. I’m so proud to be a part of this team,” said Satasuk.
The Golden Eagles have also hailed two Conference USA Players of the week, Kelly Erasmus, the week of October 12th, and Valentina Haupt, the week of March 29th. Erasmus earned her accolade after a strong showing at the Golden Eagle Jam with a runner-up finish and a 3-under par final score. Haupt’s honor came after a 1-over par, T6th place showing at the Henssler Financial Intercollegiate among multiple top 50 teams and top 100 individuals.

The drop in the team average can be attributed to the improvement of individual play. Three players this season have the top three scoring averages in Southern Miss women’s golf history: Nichada Satasuk (73.84), Kelly Erasmus (74.56), and Henriette Syr (74.85). “Our performance this year has shown that the hard work is paying off and we are reaping the rewards. Along with the hard work, we have been enjoying practice and learning from one another which I think made us all better golfers and teammates,” said Erasmus.

The team will lose three seniors, in Kelly Erasmus, Emily Ross, and Devon Spriddle next year. But it gains a freshman class loaded with talent. The addition of Julie Baker (Hoover, Ala.), Emily Cox (Lancaster, S.C.), Valeria Pichardo (Veracruz, Mexico), and Ping Huang (Beaumont, Cali.) look to keep the Golden Eagles trending in the right direction. Coach Brennan and her team expect to break more records and become a nationally recognized team in the 2017-18 season. “[The girls] are gritty and competitive which has really upped the ante. Most importantly they believe in one another.”

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