Women’s golf off to smooth start, ranked no. 20 in WGCA


Courtesy of SEU Athletics Communication

Elena Castanon helped lead St. Edward’s to an eighth placement in the DBU Classic as she shot a four-under-par 68.

In their first tournament of the season, the St. Edward’s University women’s golf team finished in fourth place at the Texan Invitational at the Squaw Valley Golf Course in Glen Rose from Sept. 23-24. 

The team shot a two-round total of 585 (299-286). Kiersten Bryant shot a 144 (72-72) and finished with a sixth-place tie at her first collegiate tournament. Romina Gonzales fired a 146 (75-71) and tied for 14th place. Placing 19th, Magdalena Lopez finished with a 147 (75-71) with Elena Castanon right behind her with a score of 148 (76-72). 

Head coach Jennifer McNeil believes that the team played well in the season opener, which had many positives including a team score of two under par. 

“We play in the strongest region and conference in the country,” said McNeil. “We have to bring our best game every round and unfortunately in round one we fell short of that. On the flip side of that, we improved every round and they worked hard to fight their way back into the tournament. I do feel we learned a lot this week about the importance of showing up for every round.” 

In the following tournament, they finished in eighth-place at the DBU Classic. In this tournament, Castanon tied for seventh place with a three-round 220 (77-75-68) while Gonzales finished in the top 20 with a score of 228 (78-74-76).

Castanon’s final round score of 68 was the lowest round she has shot in her collegiate career. “I am ultimately really happy with the results,” said Castanon. “This tournament included a lot of people in our conference, so to see that I can place top-10 is really exciting.”

The team is currently ranked 20th in the Women’s Golf Coaches Association, which is a good standing this early in the season. However, the team will continue to work hard in order to improve their ranking when they are ranked regionally and nationally in March and April. 

To be ready to achieve this goal in the conference regionals and nationals, the team members must focus on self-improvement. “Personal improvement is everything,” said Castanon. “If we grow individually, we grow as a team. We all use the learning from each other to grow in different ways every day.” 

Another important thing the team believes in is staying motivated until the conference regionals and nationals. “They know what the goals are and what my expectations are,” said McNeil. “They work hard to achieve the success, so I don’t have to do a lot of motivating. They also have to earn their travel spot every week, so the stakes are always high.” 

Coach McNeil has high expectations for her team, who had two freshmen and three sophomores travel to the last tournament. “They’re all really outstanding players, but we have to make sure we’re beyond our years and play that way. I’m expecting a lot out of young players, but they’re up to the challenge,” said McNeil. 


The team’s next tournament is Oct. 7-8 in the Golfweek Fall Invitational.