Takeaways: Iowa State closes out the UCF Challenge strong


Then-freshman Amelia Grohn works on improving her game at the Cyclones’ practice facility.

Tony Liebert

To begin the final day of the UCF Challenge, the Cyclones sat in eighth place and they were 13 strokes off of the lead.

Iowa State got to work early as they came firing out of the gates. Taglao Jeeravivitaporn made up three strokes through her first 13 holes and she jumped all the way up to 5th place on the individual leaderboard. She was eight shots off the lead with about five holes remaining. The sophomore would cool off a bit, as she would drop one stroke during her last five holes and she finished tied for 12th.

The remaining five Cyclones were beginning to play some of their best golf of the tournament right when it mattered most. Liyana Durisic had her best round of the tournament. The freshman finished two under for the day and three under overall. The four other Cyclone golfers finished nine over par on the day, while eight of those strokes came from Ruby Chou’s eight over day. 

Overall the Cyclones bounced back and competed their best round of the competition with an accumulative score of six under par. For the whole Challenge they finished tied for sixth place with a total of two under par.

Lack of red numbers

Coach Christie Martens and her team did a great job of limiting costly mistakes, as they only had five double bogeys and two triple bogeys for the entire three day event. Par golf is sometimes the best golf, but there will always come a point where you need to start making up ground on the competition and pars will obviously not accomplish that. 

The Cyclones finished the UCF Challenge with 47 birdies, which only comes out to an average of a little over 2.6 birdies per round for each golfer. In comparison Kent State won the tournament with a total of 65 birdies and one eagle. The 20 less strokes was what catapulted the Golden Eagles into first place.

Par 3 troubles

The Cyclones finished as the second to last team on par three holes for the whole tournament. They averaged a score of 3.28 on each par three, which led to a +17 total score on such holes.

For a team like Iowa State that is in desperate need of knocking in some birdies at times, par threes would be the perfect time to do so. 

Consistent success 

On a positive note, the Cyclones did finish with the second most pars out of the entire UCF Challenge field with 185. They finished tied with the eventual tournament winner Kent State.

It wont be too much of a fix, but the Cyclones will need to turn a couple of their pars into birdies if they want finish higher in their competitions for the rest of the season.

Iowa State will next travel to San Juan, Puerto Rico, for the Lady Puerto Rico Classic, which will be played Feb. 9-11.