Eight Iowa Conference championships
ANGOLA, IND.— Central College’s Sarah Paulson (senior, Ottumwa) inched up a spot to a tie for ninth at the midway point of the NCAA Division III women’s golf championships Wednesday.
Paulson matched her first-round score on the 5,990-yard Zollner Golf Course. At 77-77—154, she’s five strokes behind individual leader Catherine Wagner of Wis.-Eau Claire (78-71—149). Wagner climbed 18 spots to head the field while opening-round leader Georgiana Salant of Williams College is tied for second (72-79—151).
Paulson began her round in the morning wave on the first hole and was steady throughout the day, finishing 2-over par on the front nine and 3-over par on the back.
“Sarah played pretty even today but played better than she scored,” coach Tim Wilkinson said. “On the back nine she was on the edge of the cup for three or four putts and barely missed for birdie. Her putting was really strong today.”
After striking the ball well Tuesday, Paulson aims to put the two together.
“If she does both well Sarah will find herself in contention for a good finish,” Wilkinson said. “So much of it is striking the ball well to put yourself in a position to have makeable birdie putts. Hitting the green will be important Thursday and Friday.”
Wilkinson said Paulson’s strong mental game will play a big role in the final two rounds.
“Most of the players get to the third and fourth day, fifth if you include the practice round, and get fatigued,” he said. “But Sarah’s ability to stay positive will help her tremendously and help her deal with that fatigue.”
Paulson tees off in the afternoon wave both Thursday and Friday.
“Being in the second wave will also help so she has more time to rest and take advantage of the opportunity to relax in the morning,” Wilkinson said.
All four rounds are contested at Zollner, a par-72.