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Lakeland College sophomore women's golfer Nikki Commons has picked up this fall from where she left off last season - turning in top performances as a solo competitor.
At this past weekend's Northern Athletics Conference women's golf tournament, the Bonduel native placed fourth overall with a combined score of 192 after being tied for second place following Friday's rounds with a 95. She was also named to the NAC All-Tournament team for her efforts this season, which included a first-place finish at last Tuesday's Marian College Invite, where she shot a 94.
"I was happy with fourth place," said Commons. "I was shocked to be tied for second after the first day. I don't think a lot of people golfed the greatest the first day, and I was just hoping to golf the same on the second day and stay in the top five."
First-year head coach Cathy Hanek was also pleased with Commons' performance, as she was already aware of her talents coming into the season.
"I wasn't really surprised that she did well this year because I looked at her numbers from last year and knew she could golf," Hanek said. "It's a good accomplishment being named to the all-conference team."
Although the Muskies only have three golfers, with Sam Laird and Tiffany Kelley filling out the short roster, Commons still finds ways to stay motivated and work on her game.
"For practice most of the time it was just coach and I," Commons said. "It doesn't really matter if you have one girl or five girls to go golf, but it would be better for us if everyone was there to push each other. I would like to see Lakeland have a chance to place as a team."
Five team members are required to compete as a group, which Hanek hopes to achieve in the coming years.
"It would be nice to have more girls so we can compete as a full team," Hanek said. "But Nikki practices everyday, so having a small team hasn't been a problem for her. She has been very self-motivated."
Top finishes and conference awards aside, Commons will likely always enjoy golf thanks to a love of the sport.
"It's very relaxing, especially practicing after a long day of classes," Commons said. "You just have to be mentally strong to make sure it doesn't get to your head if you play bad."