Iowa golfer Cardwell notches hole-in-one in N.M.

BY DI STAFF | SEPTEMBER 18, 2012 6:30 AM

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Kristi Cardwell, a senior from Kokomo, Ind., hit her first career ace on Monday during the first round of the Dick McGuire Invitational in Albuquerque, N.M. Although it was Cardwell’s 17th hole of the day, the perfect shot came on the hole No. 8 after a shotgun start.

“I decided to take my 7-iron out because it was an uphill approach,” said Cardwell about the 8th-hole at the Championship Golf Course at the University of New Mexico.

Before teeing off on the par-3, 137-yard hole, Cardwell had struggled with her approach shots during the tournament.

“When I was hitting my approach shots, the greens weren’t holding well. I would hit it and it would roll off,” she said. “I’m not used to that.”

Cardwell wasn’t able to see her single shot on the 8th-hole come down, but she was lucky enough to have some spectators on hand to let her know what had happened.

“My parents were both on top of the hill, so they could see it,” she said. “But my coach and I were down there when we heard my Mom and Dad screaming; that’s when we knew it went in. Honestly, I couldn’t even see it.”

By sinking her first career ace, Cardwell became the first Hawkeye to have a hole-in-one during head coach Megan Menzel’s two-year tenure.

The Hawkeyes are in Albuquerque to participate in the Dick McGuire Invitational. Cardwell’s hole-in-one was the highlight of the day, but the rest of Monday’s action wasn’t so kind to the Iowa women.

The Hawkeyes sit at 14th place among 17 teams, but Cardwell doesn’t expect them to stay there long.

“I feel like tomorrow will be a better opportunity for us now that we’re used to the course,” she said. “If we play our own game and stay positive out there, birdies will fall.”

The Hawkeyes will need a major improvement from several players if they expect to claw back into contention. After completing 36 holes on Monday, teams will finish the 54-hole event with a round of 18 today. Those who would like to follow the final round as it happens can do so at Golfstat.com.

— by Ryan Probasco

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