For the past four years Seton Hall women’s golf has been blessed with one of the most impactful players their five year old program has seen. Senior Erin McClure is setting up to close out her collegiate career after a masterful performance in the Big East tournament this past week.
McClure came to South Orange four years ago looking to start something with a young coach that they could look back on and feel proud of. With a program that was just getting its feet wet, McClure knew a strong relationship with a driven coach could produce the success she was looking for.
“It came down to Penn State and Seton Hall,” said McClure. “I choose Seton Hall specifically because the coaching was so awesome. I wanted to be able to play in the top five as soon as I got here. I had a really good relationship with coach over the phone. I saw that she was going to go in a really good direction and I wanted to be apart of that.”
That coach, Sara Doell, allowed McClure the opportunity she was looking for, and together neither of them have looked back since.
McClure, Doell, and the rest of the women’s golf team are coming off back to back victories in the Big East championship. In the final round, the team looked to McClure to help cap off another championship run, and she delivered in stunning fashion.
McClure, who shot a 2-under 70 in the final round tying her previous career low, knew the implications and kept her approach very simple.
“I just went into that round knowing it would be my last round so I played my heart out,” said McClure.
In her junior season, McClure saw a flurry of success, something she worked very hard to obtain. Posting top 10 finishes seven separate times and jumping into the top five on five occasions, McClure understands the work that goes into having continued success.
“I have a coach back home, his name is Dave Sim, so I work with him and coach a lot.” said McClure. “Basically, with all of the workouts and practice that we do it’s kind of hard not to improve every semester, and honestly just the experience that I had playing in all of those tournaments I kind of progressed within at.”
That success clearly shows in McClure’s seasonal averages, which have dropped each year she has been a Pirate. After the 2011-12 season’s McClure’s average round score was a solid 81.38. After the completion of last season, McClure’s average score was down by about four strokes, sitting at 76.96. She attributes that success to not only her work ethic, but the environment that her team creates for her.
“For me, when I am having fun that’s when I am playing well.” said McClure. “When we were playing we would throw a football back and forth while we were waiting on the tee. We have a lot of fun while we’re playing, but we keep it serious as well.”
But with experiencing so much success in her junior season, one would think the hunger to continue to get better would subside right? Wrong. At least not for McClure.
“With senior year there is a little more pressure, because you want to end on a good season,” said McClure. “You don’t want to say I wish I could’ve done better. This year I did better in the spring than I did in the fall. In the fall I had a lot of anxiety because I would say ‘wow this is my last season’. So this semester I said you know what it doesn’t matter how I play I just want to have a lot of fun.”
With all of the success McClure has seen over these past four years, she never loses sight about how important the team is over her own success. And with her career coming to an end, the importance of being on a team is something McClure realizes she is going to miss.
“Honestly I am going to miss being around and being a part of a team,” said McClure. “For me it’s not how I individually do, it’s always been about how I can play for my team.”