Women’s golf finishes 9th

Jonathan Lowe

The ISU women’s golf team battled some familiar foes as it started the season Sunday at the Chip-N Club Invitational in Lincoln, Neb. When all was said and done Monday, the Cyclones finished in ninth place with a score of 927.

Kent State pulled away from the competition over the last two rounds of the tourney to finish on top with 872. Penn State represented the Big Ten well, placing second with a three-round total of 907. Arkansas and Kansas State finished in a tie for third at 914.

Kent State ascended to the title on the shoulders of the competition’s top two golfers. Martina Gillen won medalist honors with a six-under-par effort (210) that included a 67 in the second round. Jan Dowling finished as the runner-up after shooting a one-under-par 215.

Linda Chen of Texas-El Paso, Penn State’s Katie Futcher and Amanda Sutcliffe of the host Nebraska tied for third at 221.

The ISU team was led by junior Laura Wells, who tied with two other players for sixth place with a score of 223. Freshman Louise Kenney finished second on the team with a score of 232 in her first collegiate tournament.

Juniors Leanne Owens and Sarah Gilbert finished in a tie for 41st with identical scores of 238. Cindy Whitmore completed her first competition as a Cyclone after shooting 250 over three rounds. Claire Stephanson played in the invitational as an individual and ended up tying for 47th at 240.

Kenney, who hails from Scotland, played in her first tournament while still trying to figure out the nuances to the sport on this side of the Atlantic.

“It’s quite hard to control your ball around the greens,” she said. “They’re a lot faster, but I’m getting used to it.”

The freshman is also getting used to the concept of playing with a team, as well as performing as an individual. One thing she has learned is that a relaxed team plays better.

“You don’t want to put pressure on anybody,” Kenney said. “You just want to go out there and have fun and play well.”

Kenney likes the fact that the Cyclone squad has a good attitude about its performance.

“I think the team’s spirit is really good so far,” she said. “I’m really impressed with that.”

The team will head north to Minneapolis to participate in the Minnesota Invitational this Sunday and Monday.