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Iowa senior women's golfer Cardwell leads on and off the course

BY RYAN RODRIGUEZ | MARCH 13, 2013 5:00 AM

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Kristi Cardwell is leading the Hawkeye women’s golf team in big way.

The Iowa senior and Kokomo, Ind., native has been a workhorse for the women’s golf team all season long. To say that she has been a model of consistency and a leader by example would be a gross understatement.

Through 18 rounds this season, Cardwell has posted some impressive numbers — among them is a top-10 finish at the McGuire Invitational in September (tied for ninth) and a team-leading average of 75.89 strokes/per round.

She also has three top-20 finishes and two rounds at or below par, which lead the Hawkeyes. Her lowest score, a 72, is second on the team, behind only sophomore Lauren English, who shot a 68 earlier this past fall. But Cardwell is no stranger to shooting a sub-70 score — she’s done so each of the past three years.

Cardwell’s low scores have come in large quantities, she says, because of the confidence she has.

“Last tournament, we’re all pretty confident,” Cardwell said. “So my plan is just to stay confident and keep playing like I have been playing.”

That confidence and team-first attitude are two key traits that have pegged the four-year letter-winner as a team captain this year for the Hawkeyes.

“She’s a great teammate on the course,” freshman Amy Ihm said. “She’s also just a great friend and person in general.”

Cardwell’s leadership isn’t limited to the course. Her dedication to the sport and her team, even when the Hawkeyes are not playing, has earned her the respect that’s often synonymous with family.

“Her attitude on and off the golf course is always positive,” Ihm said. “She’s definitely a leader, and I look up to her a lot.”

That kind of respect spills onto the scorecard as well. English, who’s been playing exceptionally well this season, said that Cardwell is a big reason for that success. English had nothing but praise for her teammate when asked about her senior teammate.

“On the course, Kristi is very motivated and she’s very positive,” English said. “Even off the course, she’s always at practice; she’s very motivated all the time. She’s just a nice person.”

Cardwell’s importance to the team cannot be overstated. Her contributions on the course have often carried the team, while her attitude has helped shape the underclassmen who will continue to represent Iowa long after she graduates.

“She’s definitely one of my role models,” Ihm said. “And I hope I can be as successful as she is.”


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