The Oregon girls golf team is banking on experience paying off this season.
The Panthers return every starter from a team that finished third in the Badger South Conference last year and took second in the conference tournament (361), 34 strokes behind Milton.
“Our team has a group of five returning letterwinners that has had success over the last few years,” Oregon coach Eric Instefjord told the Observer. “That success should pay dividends as they become more consistent in their competitive play.”
The Panthers lost Andi McCorke, who shot a 72 and just missed capturing the individual conference title on a playoff, to graduation. Oregon has plenty of experienced and up-and-coming golfers, Instefjord said.
Seniors Sydney McKee and Ally Payne each have played varsity for three years. They also return senior Brooke McCallum and sophomores Alyssa Schmidt and Sam McKee. Payne shot a 90 in the conference tournament and McCallum carded a 92.
“Hopefully, those experiences will allow us to compete with the top teams in the area.” Instefjord said. “Our expectations are to work to get better every day in practice and carry that forward into our meets.”
If the Panthers are capable of taking that approach, Instefjord said the team should be more consistent in their play and experience more success in an always competitive Badger South.
Instefjord pegs Milton as the favorite to win conference, with Madison Edgewood as a contender to also compete for the conference title. He said each has a strong nucleus returning from state qualifying teams. Both Milton (Division 1) and Edgewood (Division 2) finished as state runner-ups.
Stoughton was also competitive last season and returns five letterwinners, Instefjord said.
Oregon hosts Stoughton on Aug. 24 at Foxboro Golf Club and the Panthers take on Madison Edgewood Sept. 4 at the Yahara Hills Golf Course in Madison.