Gold, Bulldogs impress in first golf tournament of the season


UNCA Athletics

Junior Madyson Gold attempts to drive it home for the Bulldogs.

Jared Feinberg, Sports Writer, [email protected]

UNC Asheville kicked off their season with the Green Wave Classic in New Orleans, shooting 19-over 307 in a 14 place finish.

From Sept. 12 to 13, the Bulldogs competed against some of the most notable Power 5 teams, such as LSU and Nebraska, Tulsa and the host team Tulane. First-year Asheville head coach Ross Cash called their first tournament a litmus test when competing against some of the best.

“It was my first tournament as head coach competing with my team and we played with some of the best in the country from Power 5 conferences like the Big 10 and SEC. I think the competition further illuminated what I already knew we needed to sharpen up,” Cash said. 

Junior golfer Madyson Gold scored the best individual finish for the Bulldogs, shooting 7-over 223 after a strong final day of the tournament. Before the season, Gold said she wanted to improve her overall consistency on the course and felt a strong summer of golf would translate to success.

“I was able to really save myself in New Orleans after bad shots and bad holes, and I feel like my work over the summer in combination with what we’ve been working on this season definitely helped me do that. I shot three really consistent scores and I’m really content with how I played,” Gold said.

Junior golfer Phoebe Carles said she was excited for her teammate and close friend’s success on the golf course in New Orleans.

“I think Madyson played well. I know she’s capable of better, which is honestly exciting to say you can shoot under 75 for the week and still be capable of better,” Carles said.

Carles scored 3-over 75 on the second day of competition in New Orleans while Amber Capote and Hailey Pendleton had identical scores of 7-over 79. Coach Cash offered high praise for his team and for Gold’s performance.

“Madyson has so many characteristics of a great champion in the making. I have talked to her at length already about many of these qualities that just come naturally to her. She is an amazing person and is only scratching the surface at how great she will become,” Cash said.

Carles expressed excitement and praised her teammates following their first tournament of the season.

“We were playing against a difficult field and I think we learned that although we got beat, these girls from top programs in the country are not out of reach from what we can do. It’s a few little things that could elevate us to the next level,” Carles said.

Gold said she and her teammates learned a lot when going up against the likes of the Cornhuskers and Tigers, and there is still room for improvement as they didn’t play their best golf.

“We have so much to improve on. This tournament was a great opportunity for us and we got to play against some really great teams, which gave us great insight on what makes these teams so good, and what we can do to get there,” Gold said.

Gold said she felt she could have played better, despite being the highest finishing individual for the Bulldogs.

“I’m proud of what I accomplished, but I feel like I left a lot of shots out there which leaves me kind of wanting more. I feel really good going into this next tournament, I grew up playing the course we’re playing at, so I’m really excited to play,” Gold said.

Coach Cash enjoyed his first competition as Asheville’s head coach. However, he encourages his student-athletes to continue developing their skills as the season goes on.

“The first competition was great and I am excited for the season, but my emphasis is on these young ladies and the development of their inner selves that will make them champions at whatever they do,” Cash said.

Coach Cash expressed that he wants his student athletes to continue to spend time within his program learning how to be more confident, finding their inner strength and being more decisive in any situation.

“When we have an entire group that feels that way individually then the golf collectively takes care of itself,” Cash said.

With Asheville’s next tournament beginning in a couple of weeks, Carles said she and her teammates feel very excited heading into their next competition. Gold said she looks forward to more competition in the upcoming tournament.

“I think we all feel pretty good going into this long string of tournaments. The teams we are playing against in the next tournaments are ranked higher than us, but aren’t teams that are necessarily hard to beat if we all play well. I feel really good about what we can do in these next few tournaments,” Gold said.

Coach Cash said his players are already getting to work on improving their technique and fundamentals in the short-game.

“Studying the videos of some of the best chippers and pitchers in the game and using video comparison out at the golf course to make adjustments that will be positive for the rest of the year but especially for the next event in south Florida because of the uniqueness of the Bermuda grass at the tournament venue,” Cash said.

UNCA’s next golf tournament is in Jupiter, Florida with Florida Atlantic being featured as the host team. The Jupiter Women’s Invitational is set for Oct. 3 through Oct. 4.