Eight Iowa Conference championships
CEDAR FALLS — The weather got worse and the Central College women’s golf team got better.
Iowa Conference tournament golfers saw heavy rain, then wind and dropping temperatures, but the Dutch shaved 12 shots off their first-round score to take over sole possession of second place after 36 holes of the 72-hole meet. The tourney concludes with 36 holes at the Elmcrest Country Club in Cedar Rapids next Friday and Saturday.
Central stands at 344-332—676 following two rounds at the par-72 Pheasant Ridge Golf Course, while defending champion Wartburg College expanded its lead with 314-317—631. Luther College climbed into third at 345-334—679, three shots behind the Dutch while Simpson College slipped to 344-346—690.
Taylor Hill (junior, Treynor) remained in fifth place individually at 81-81—162 but the story for the Dutch was freshman Ali Kallsen (Hinton) who fired an 82, six shots lower than her previous collegiate best. She’s tied for ninth.
“Ali was a huge surprise,” coach Tim Wilkinson said. “She was 2 under after four holes and managed to hold on to an 82. That really helped us out.”
Kelsey Van Tasell (junior, Pella) is also tied for ninth at 86-83—169 while Rachel Cassens (sophomore, Stockton, Ill.) shot 90-86—176 and Chelsey Shuey (sophomore, Ames) shares 29th at 97-93—190.
“It’s the first round we haven’t counted a score in the 90s,” Wilkinson said. “That’s always a goal.”
Elmcrest presents a different challenge, with a tree-lined traditional layout compared to the comfortably open Pheasant Ridge course.
“It’s important to keep the ball in the fairway to have a chance to hit some greens,” Wilkinson said.
But he thinks his squad is ready.
“I think our mental approach has gotten dramatically better over the last two weeks. We’re accepting things and not letting them affect how we play the next shot.”