A memorable four years as a part of Seton Hall women’s golf has culminated in a final stretch of strength and leadership for senior Megan Tenhundfeld.
The women’s golf program at Seton Hall is one rooted in leadership. Two seniors—Erin McClure and Ali Kruse, who graduated last year—led the team to back-to- back Big East titles.
Under the guidance of Tenhundfeld, the Pirates are looking for a third.
“She does not accept mediocrity from herself, her teammates or her coaches,” head coach Sara Doell said of Tenhundfeld. “Her teammates know that if we need something to be done, Megan will do it.”
That drive has kept the team in good hands from one class of seniors to the next, and Tenhund- feld’s preparation is seen in her performance.
“I certainly feel like I have become a better player since my freshman year,” Tenhundfeld said of her grind. “Through intense practicing and work in the weight room, my confidence and skill level have increased.”
In the 2014-15 season, she competed in 10 tournaments and recorded three top-10 finishes, including one top-five finish, along with a 78.00 stroke average for the year.
Tenhundfeld was also a Big East Academic All-Star for the season, showing her dedication both in the classroom and on the green, as well as in providing a good example for her teammates.
“I have loved leading this team and bringing people together,” Tenhundfeld said on her role as a leader. “Since the team is very young, I am doing what I can to leave the returning players in the best way possible. I want all of them to continue on to have suc- cessful golf careers at Seton Hall.”
Tenhundfeld cares for her teammates and is not shy when it comes time to step up to the big moment. An example of that came in last year’s Big East Tournament when her team needed her the most.
Doell reflects on that moment fondly in the history of Tenhundfeld’s career.
“Megan got up and down on the last hole of Big East last April to seal a one-stroke victory for the team,” Doell said. “I met her in the fairway on the last hole and she wanted to know where we stood against Georgetown and I told her that it was very close. In front of a very large crowd, she made the putt for us to win by one stroke.”
In some ways, that moment signified the passing of the torch and the start of Tenhundfeld’s reign as the leader and the playmaker.
“Making that final putt to go on to regionals was not only a huge deal for Erin (McClure) and Ali (Kruse), but for myself as well,” Tenhundfeld said. “The momentum and confidence of the Big East win helped bring me into a successful senior year.”
Doell goes a step beyond, ranking Tenhundfeld upon those of the ranks of McClure and Kruse.
“At the end of her career, her name will be towards the top of the best players that we have had in this program,” Doell said.
With her play this season, Tenhundfeld is on track to do just that.
In the fall 2015-16 season, Ten- hundfeld competed in five events, headlined by her tied-for-second place finish at the Bucknell Invita- tional. Her stroke average for the season was 76.64, improved from her junior season.
The spring season of her final year provides the opportunity to continue on the track of growth and make some damage on the way to a third conference championship.
“I definitely believe that we have the capability to win for the third time in a row,” Tenhundfeld said. “The fall was not as successful as we would have liked, but so far this spring season I have really seen the skills and talent come out in each player.
“If everyone comes together on the same three days and plays their game to their abilities, I don’t doubt that we could come home with a third title.”
And Tenhundfeld will be leading every step of the way.
“Megan is a very strong leader,” Doell said. “She knows what she wants, she knows how to get it and she knows how to motivate and push those around her to strive for greatness.”
For Tenhundfeld, her time is now.
Elizabeth Swinton can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org on Twitter @eswint22.