Eight Iowa Conference championships
MADISON, ILL. — The Central College women’s golf team shaved 12 strokes off its opening-round score to place 10th in a strong 18-team field at the Washington-St. Louis (Mo.) Invitational Sunday.
The Dutch finished at 656 on the par-72, 5,865 yard Gateway National Golf Links, carding a 322 after turning in a 334 Saturday. Central inched ahead of Carroll University (Wis.) in 11th (331-326—657) and was six strokes behind Truman State University (Mo.) in ninth (324-326—650). William Woods University (Mo.) carded 308-303—611 and won the team race in a tiebreaker over Washington (Mo.) (304-307—611).
“We played really well today,” coach Tim Wilkinson said. “Toward the end of the round play was backed up three group’s speed, which makes it hard to step up and hit, but it was nice to see the team score improve overall.”
Sarah Paulson (senior, Ottumwa) jumped two spots in the 104-player tournament, finishing 15th at 78-78—156. Maryville’s Kayla Eckelkamp took medalist honors at 72-76—148.
“Sarah felt like she could have ended a little better but it’s tough to do in that situation,” Wilkinson said.
Freshman transfer Taylor Hill (Treynor) improved her score by seven strokes and tied for 28th at 84-77—161.
“Taylor played well today and gained some confidence moving forward,” Wilkinson said.
Ali Miller (senior, Davenport, North HS) tied for 52nd at 85-83—168 and Ashley Smith (junior, Johnsburg, Ill.) tied for 66th at 87-84—171. Kelsey Van Tasell (freshman, Pella) tied for 94th at 91-101—192.
“A couple players had to grind out their score but we were able to count them in the team score,” Wilkinson said.
The Dutch have Easter weekend off before traveling to Normal, Ill., for the Illinois Wesleyan Spring Fling April 14-15 at the Ironwood Golf Course.
“The golfers are energized and excited for Illinois Wesleyan,” Wilkinson said. “The success we had this weekend will motivate them to have a good spring.”