DIKE — Stiff winds sent scores soaring Sunday but the Central College women’s golf team hung on to fourth place at the Luther Classic.
Freshman Mackenzie Biggs (freshman, Bloomington, Ill., Normal HS), who carded a personal-best 75 Saturday to take the first-round medalist lead, slipped to 85 Sunday for 160 and a third-place finish in an impressive collegiate debut.
After shooting 329 Saturday in ideal conditions, Central mustered 351 Sunday to close at 680 at the par-72 Fox Ridge Golf Course. The University of Dubuque prevailed in the seven-team tourney at 316-327—643 with Wartburg College second at 320-345—665 followed by Luther College at 326-343—669.
Sophomore Delaney Underwood (Mitchellville, Colfax-Mingo HS) turned in Central’s low round Sunday and closed at 79-84—163. Madison Clark (sophomore, Bloomington, Ill., Central Catholic HS) shot 87-90—177, Avery Woods (freshman, Long Grove, North Scott HS) had 92-92—184 and Whitney Anderson (sophomore, Sioux Rapids, Sioux Central HS) had 88-96—184.
Three Central freshmen were at-large entrants. Peyton Bytnar (freshman, Bettendorf) shot 84-92--176 while Rachel Sohn (freshman, Sutherland, South O’Brien HS) shot 102-102--204 and Brielle Reed (freshman, Colfax, Colfax-Mingo HS) had 107-111—218.
“It was definitely tough out there,” coach Tabitha Schumacher said. “It was a very different golf course. Yesterday the conditions were amazing. I think it was a big mental test for our players to see how they’re doing in the wind but overall I can’t complain. I think the tournament went pretty well, especially considering we only have a week of practice.”
Schumacher said Biggs and Underwood were steady but the winds played havoc with their approach shots.
“The biggest thing was they didn’t hit as many greens today,” she said. “When there are 20-mph winds you’re kind of picking a target, hitting it and hoping that it does what you were expecting but it’s hard to guess right. It can affect the greens, too, so making those 5-footers gets a little bit tougher.”
Central returns to action next Saturday and Sunday at the Wartburg Fall Invitational at the par-72 Prairie Links Golf Course in Waverly. Schumacher said having some tournament experience will be beneficial for her young squad.
“This was a good indicator to see where we are and what is that each player needs to work on,” she said. “We’ll have a good week of practice and be ready for Waverly next weekend.”