Colette Murray arrived at practice one day this semester all bundled up to keep warm.
Then her University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women's golf team bombarded her with white balls -- not golf balls but snowballs.
"It's been a rough winter," Murray said this week. "I was getting frustrated because we were hitting the ball well but we couldn't score. We couldn't putt.
"There were days when we physically couldn't putt, so I needed to check myself."
Sophomore Emily McLennan grew up in Australia and experienced snow for the first time in her life this winter. She's not a fan but enjoyed playing around while practicing in the stuff, including making a tee out of snow.
"Practicing in snow was a lot different," McLennan said. "When you have so many clothes on that you can't make a full turn, it's hard to get in a good practice session."
The snow has melted, temperatures have warmed and the end of the season is approaching. The Mocs will play in their final regular-season tournament Monday and Tuesday at the Web.com Intercollegiate in Jacksonville, Fla. They'll play 36 holes on Monday and 18 on Tuesday.
The Southern Conference tournament starts next Sunday at Hilton Head Island, S.C.
"If we have a top-three finish, we could safely say that we're playing in the postseason," Murray said of her team, which is ranked No. 70 by GolfWeek. "We're a bubble team at the moment, but with a good finish that would get us in the 60s and that should be good enough."
The season has barely been good enough for Murray.
"We used to average 304 [team strokes per round] and we were in the top 50," Murray said. "We're averaging 298 and we're 70th. That's a change in college golf."
The Mocs have collected three SoCon player-of-the-week awards this semester, out of five weeks -- two for senior Jordan Britt and one for McLennan.
"I have no doubt we're the best team in the conference and we'll be the team to beat," Murray said. "But we will need five scores."
Contact David Uchiyama at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6484. Follow him at twitter.com/UchiyamaCTFP.
David Uchiyama is a sports writer at the Chattanooga Times Free Press who began his tenure here in May 2001. His primary beats are UTC athletics — specifically men’s basketball and athletic department administration — and golf, which includes coverage from the PGA Tour to youth events. He also covers other high school sports, outdoor adventures, and contributes to other sections of the newspaper when necessary. David grew up in Salinas, Calif., and began working ...