Eight Iowa Conference championships
PELLA — On a day when chilly winds sent scores soaring on the rugged Bos Landen Golf Club at the Iowa Conference women’s golf tournament, Central College senior Ashley Smith (Johnsburg, Ill.) responded with a career-best 79 that kept the Dutch in third place after three rounds.
Smith’s round was 4 strokes lower than any other player in the field and helped Central card a 371, 3 shots better than second-place Luther College. It was especially well-timed because the Dutch are without No. 1 player Taylor Hill (sophomore, Treynor), who had to withdraw from the tournament due to illness.
“Ashley’s been working towards breaking 80 the last two years,” coach Tim Wilkinson said. “To do it out here at Bos (Landen) in these conditions should give her a tremendous amount of confidence.”
Meanwhile Kelsey Van Tasell (sophomore, Pella) continued her surprising season with yet another steady outing, shooting 83—the second-best round of the day—to climb into third place in the medalist standings at 77-80-83—240. Simpson’s Jennifer Gaffney took over the top spot at 72-82-84—238 while Wartburg’s Samantha Heinen is second at 78-75-85—239.
Defending champion Wartburg leads the team race heading into Saturday’s final round with 307-312-347—966. Luther is at 317-318-374—1009 with Central at 332-331-365—1028 and Simpson at 328-347-364—1039.
Central’s Chelsey Shuey (freshman, Ames) is tied for 20th individually at 87-86—100. Emily Fisher (freshman, Wapello) is at 94-85-109—288 and Jill Huffman (freshman, Bloomington, Ill., Normal HS), filling in for Hill, shot 111.
“We were playing three freshmen and it’s the first time that we’ve played in this kind of weather,” Wilkinson said. “They were not quite sure how to handle adversity.”
But that leaves him hopeful of a strong finish Saturday.
“We can’t expect a whole lot of improvement from our No. 1 and 2 players, but our No. 3 through 5 players are definitely capable of better scores,” he said.