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Hawkeye women's golf posts second-best 18-hole score ever

BY DI STAFF | APRIL 10, 2012 6:30 AM

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The Iowa women's golf team is alone atop the leaderboard after the first day of competition at the Wyoming Cowgirl Classic at the Ocotillo Golf Course in Chandler, Ariz.

Five Hawkeyes combined to shoot a first-round 1-over 289 on Monday — the second-best 18-hole score in program history. The current low score, 285, was set at the Challenge at Onion Creek in 2009.

Junior Kristi Cardwell led the team with an eagle and a birdie on the back nine and finished at 4 under. The junior is tied for first individually with Colorado State's Brianna Espinoza.

Cardwell's 68 is a career-best, topping her previous low score of 69 set at the 2010 Challenge at Onion Creek. She was the only athlete in the field of 126 to eagle No. 10, according to a release.

"I told myself to have fun, stay patient, and be calm. Those three words kept popping up in my head throughout the round," the Kokomo, Ind., native said. "It's nice to have something to remind you to come back if you hit a bad shot. It was a good round."

Gilbert, Ariz., native Shelby Phillips was the next-closest Hawkeye to Cardwell; she fired a first-round 73 (1 over) and is tied for ninth.

Teammates Lauren English and Karly Grouwinkel — who is competing for the first time as a Hawkeye — both shot 74s. The two are tied for 14th place.

Senior Chelsea Harris rounded out the Iowa scorecard tied for 37th at 4 over.

Cardwell said she was happy to see the team play cohesively.

"It was nice to have [the team] all play together and work together as one," she said.

First-year head coach Megan Menzel said she was impressed with her team's mental approach.

"It was a really good start to the tournament; I thought everybody played really composed and really well today," she said. "We were trying to play the one shot in front of you, not get ahead of ourselves, and [the team] did that very well today."

The Hawkeyes will resume competition at 8:30 a.m. today.

— by Alex French


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