For the fifth time this school year, a Wartburg athletics team competed at the NCAA Championships. This time, the women’s golf team took 17th overall after a four day tournament in Angola, Ind. The Knights finished with a team score of 1,325, 173 strokes over par.
Wartburg shot a 337 in round one and round two with a 338 before improving the last two days to a 332 in round three and a 318 in round four. The final round score of 318 was tied for the eighth best in the nation that day.
“We felt as a team that we probably could have played better in our first three rounds. I think that our team score wasn’t as good as I think we’re capable of. The fourth day we finally put together a good round,” head coach Monica Severson said.
Methodist University won their 13th straight NCAA championship with a four round score of 1,242. Wisconsin-Eau Claire’s Catherine Wagner was the individual champion with a 302 (+14). Kelsi Sawatzky finished the tournament as the top Knight individual. Sawatzky finished in a tie for 34th with a 318 (+30). Sawatzky was even par in round four, something only three other golfers did the entire tournament.
“I think Kelsi really put together four pretty consistent rounds,” said Severson. “That was a great thing for her to accomplish in the national championships.”
Paige Klostermann finished her career as a Knight with a score of 323 (+35), good for a tie for 48th place. Klostermann compiled a 168 over the course of the first two days but improved to a 155 in the final two days. Morgan McMillan tied for 73rd with a 334 (+46) and Samantha Heinen had a score of 351 (+63), finishing 93rd. Amy Kobliska rounded out the Wartburg team, finishing 101st with a 382 (+94).
Klostermann was the only senior on this year’s roster. The rest of the Knights will be aiming for their sixth straight IIAC championship in 2012.
“Getting ready for next season really starts now because the really good college golfers make themselves better in the summer,” Severson said.
Severson said she thinks the team can once again compete for the IIAC title and a trip to nationals.
NATHAN FORD SPORTS EDITOR