College Golf: Stone busy preparing for next season
Alex Stone has set her sights to next year.
There’s not much she can do about the spring season of her junior year as a member of the Augustana University women’s golf team. But the Pequot Lakes High School graduate will be back next season as a captain and senior of the Vikings team that had nationals in their sights before COVID-19 ended all collegiate activities this spring.
Stone and her team were at the Augustana Spring Fling in Palm Desert, California, when news came that the season was done.
The Vikings finished second Aug. 12-13 in their spring tournament. Stone fired rounds of 76-82 for an 11th-place 158.
“We were just all at our place in California, where we were for our tournament,” Stone said. “It was kind of abrupt. They decided to cancel nationals right away so I think that really hit us hard because we all thought we had a good chance of going to nationals this year, especially coming off the win from our national preview in the fall. We were looking pretty good so that was a real big disappointment for us.”
Augustana in nationals is nothing new when it comes to women’s golf, but Stone was playing well heading into the spring season
In 15 fall rounds, Stone finished with a stroke average of 76.43 with a win at the Ramada Mustang Invite and two other top-five finishes.
Stone also fired rounds of 71-75-71 for a 4-over 217 to win the Women’s Division II National Preview Oct. 14-15 at the Country Club of St. Albans to lead Augustana to the team victory.
The quick end to the season was most hard for Stone and her team because of the retirement of head coach Peggy Kirby.
“We had four seniors on our team this year, but we’re also losing our head coach next year, which is going to be difficult for sure because she’s been there for all three of my years,” Stone said. “She’s an awesome coach. She’s been coaching for 17 years. It was also really hard knowing that was the last tournament she would be coaching us at.”
Stone is doing homework at her parent’s home in Crosslake. They have a golf simulator so she’s been hitting a few golf balls, working out and spending time with her family. But she does miss the competitive side of golf this time of year.
“It’s really different because this is usually our high-paced, more stressful time of year to get ready for competing at the national and regional level,” Stone said. “Now to have to take a step back from that makes me realize how much I really miss it. How our team has been super close. We have really good bonds with one another because we didn’t lose any seniors from last year so it’s hard for me to think about not playing with any of them ever again.”
During her sophomore season, Stone earned a spot on the All-NSIC second team. She was named to the conference’s All-Academic Team. She earned a spot on the Women’s Golf Coaches Association All-American Scholar Team. In 18 rounds she finished with two top-five finishes and three top 10 finishes with an 80.3 scoring average.
Stone said she wasn’t sure about her competitive schedule this summer. She’s preparing for an internship in Minneapolis this summer. She said she probably won’t take the extra year of eligibility as she’s prepared to start the next chapter of her life with her accounting degree. But she’s very excited for her senior season and to take care of unfinished business from this year.
“I’m really excited for next year because I’ll be a senior and a captain,” Stone said. “We still have five coming back next year so I’m just excited for my final season and hoping to make that one count since we got cut short this year.”
School: Augustana University
Sport: Women’s golf
From: Pequot Lakes High School
Parents: Mike and Kelly Stone
Major: Accounting and business