College has been quite an adjustment for Heather Munro, a freshman Dundee, Scotland, native on the Elon University women’s golf team. Even so, she found herself leading the Colonial Athletic Association Women’s Golf Championships after the second day of the three-day tournament.
After shooting a 2-under par on the day to go 3-under for the tournament, she put herself and her team in position to win the individual and team championships. Munro finished the tournament with a 217 — 1-over par — to earn the individual runner-up title in the CAA Tournament. She also helped the Phoenix capture second place in the team competition.
“The last day was disappointing,” Munro said. “But if I had been told I’d come in second at the start of the week, I would have taken it. I think it was a good start to my freshman year.”
When transitioning from golf in Scotland to golf in the United States, Munro had to adjust to the different course conditions.
“The weather’s a lot different,” Munro said. “When I came in, I had a really low ball flight because it’s so windy back home. When I came out here I made it a lot higher because the greens here are more receptive than at home.”
Munro is aware of her strengths and weaknesses as a player and has worked to develop her game throughout the season.
“I’ve been working on my putting a lot with [head coach Chris Dockrill], and it’s slowly getting there, but there’s still a lot of work to do,” she said.
According to Dockrill, Munro has improved the weaker areas of her game.
“She’s worked extremely hard two weeks prior going into the [CAA Championships],” he said. “And the things that she was having trouble with, she did very well, especially her short game area.”
But the improvements in her game have been more mental than physical, according to Munro.
“I think I’ve improved a lot — not so much golf-wise — but how I think my way around the course,” she said.
Team play was something unfamiliar to Munro, who had primarily focused on individual play during high school.
“Obviously, team golf is a lot different from individual golf,” she said. “I have to think about saving strokes for the team compared to saving strokes for myself.”
As a member of the Scottish women’s national team, Munro competed in several competitions across Europe, including the 2013 Girls’ European Team Championships and the 2014 Scottish Ladies Open.
Since the golf season is year-round, Munro began her college career Sept. 14 and ended her debut season April 19 in the CAA Championships.
Her best finish in the fall came during the William & Mary Invitational from Sept. 14-16, 2014, tying in fourth after shooting 3-over in her first tournament as a Phoenix.
In the spring, her best finish was when she shot a 14-over to tie for 10th place in the FGCU (Florida Gulf Coast University) Eagle Invitational.
Although her best performances dipped from fourth to 10th, she trained hard throughout the season.
“I was a bit apprehensive going into [the CAA Championships],” Munro said. “I had been a bit inconsistent at the start of the spring season and I felt like it had all come together. But you never really know for sure.”
Munro will compete in events like the British Ladies Open this summer to continue her development.
Dockrill has increased expectations for next season, not only for Munro but for the team as a whole.
He said the women’s golf team is strong from top to bottom, so there will be more events in the fall against highly ranked opponents.
“There’s no question that she’s [Munro] going to be a strong player next year,” he said. “I see her really expanding on what she did this year, especially looking at how she performed this season.”