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Women’s golf finishes 23rd at spring season opener

BY MAGGIE CUNNINGHAM | FEBRUARY 23, 2011 7:20 AM

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The Iowa women’s golf team had high hopes for the Edwin Watts/Kiawah Island Classic, which began on Feb. 20, but a steady loss of momentum put the Hawkeyes in 23rd at the competition’s end.

The 54-hole event was hosted by the College of Charleston at the Kiawah Island Golf Resort in Kiawah Island, S.C. Miami (Fla.) took first in a 33-team field with a score of 888. The Hawkeyes finished far behind with a score of 953.

“They all practiced a lot over break, and we are seeing a lot of good things with our short game, so I have really high expectations,” head coach Kelly Crawford said prior to the tournament. “It’s a really good field. It’s a huge field. And there are about 30 teams, but I feel we have a really good chance to win it.”

The Hawkeyes had strong performances during the fall season. Because of that success, Crawford expected much more out of her team entering the opening event of the spring season.

After the first day of competition, Iowa was tied for 17th with a score of 312 — the Hawkeyes’ lowest score of the three days. Even then, Crawford saw the Hawkeyes make costly mental mistakes.

“We need to make better decisions tomorrow and make a few more up and downs to move up in the field,” she said at the conclusion of day one.

At the end of the second round, the Hawkeyes were tied in 21st with a score of 318. A lack of consistency on the part of the entire team was a major setback.

Each day there was a different low scorer. Senior Laura Cilek led the team on Sunday with just 74 strokes (2 over), junior Chelsea Harris shot the best second-round score at 76, and senior Lauren Forbes shot Tuesday’s best with 78.

With a combined score of 236 (79-76-81), Harris recorded the team’s best 54-hole total.

The team is planning on practicing hard in the next few weeks to make sure it is well-prepared for the Jack Rabbit Invitational in Primm, Nev., beginning March 14.

“There is no excuse that our [team] score grew every day,” sophomore Kristi Cardwell said. “It’s all in the past, and we can’t do anything about it now. We can only learn from our mistakes.”


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