In its final tune up before the MIAC Championships, the Gustavus women’s golf team took third place out of 14 teams at the SMSU Mustang Invite held at the Marshall Golf Club in Marshall, Minn. on Sunday, Sept. 25. The third place finish caps off an impressive start to the 2011-12 campaign, which includes two first place finishes. The Gusties won the Division III Midwest Classic on Sept. 17-18 in Lake City, Minn. and took home top honors in their first meet of the season at the Eau Claire Invitational on Sept. 3-4 in Eau Claire, Wis.
Senior Taylor Drenttel proved to be the best golfer at the DIII Midwest Classic after shooting a two-day total 73-80-153 (+9) for first place out of 115 participants. The first place finish also earned Drenttel MIAC Women’s Golf Athlete of the Week honors. The Inver Grove Heights, Minn. native has compiled an 18-hole average of 81.0 and has finished in the top-13 in three of the four meets this season.
First-year Sam Falk has made her presence known by leading the Gusties with an 80.3 18-hole average through four meets. Falk, a native of Glenwood, Minn., has been consistent with her play, placing in the top-20 in each meet this season. She turned in her best performance of the year at the SMSU Mustang Invite last weekend, finishing in a tie for seventh with a score of 79-75-154 (+10).
Junior Kayleigh Dittes (Eden Prairie, Minn.) and first-year Liz Strom (Fargo, N.D.) have 18-hole averages under 82 – Dittes at 81.3 and Strom at 81.8. Dittes, like Falk, has finished in the top-20 in all four meets this season, including a fifth place finish in a field of 122 at the Eau Claire Invite on Sept. 3-4. Strom registered her best performance of her collegiate career with a seventh place finish (75-79-154, +10) alongside fellow frosh Falk last weekend in Marshall, Minn.
Seniors Ann Jackson (Fargo, N.D.) and Rikka Holiday (Bozeman, Mont.) are no strangers to the MIAC Championships, entering the event with 18-hole averages of 82.0 and 84.3, respectively. Jackson provided her top performance early this season in Eau Claire, Wis. with a sixth place finish (78-84-162). She also placed 13th at the Midwest Classic. Holiday has consistently placed in the upper-third of competitors of each meet with two 22nd place finishes, one 33rd and one 38th.
The Gusties will look to take their fourth consecutive MIAC Championships on Oct. 1-3. The 2011 MIAC Championships will be held at Bunker Hills Golf Course in Coon Rapids, Minn.