WANDERING— Mackenzie Biggs (Junior, Bloomington, Illinois, Normal HS) stayed steady despite strong April winds and shot a 75 as she propelled Central College’s women’s golf team to the Wartburg Spring Invitational title on Sunday.
Biggs was on the Waverly Municipal Golf Course with a 5 over par 5 and ran off the field. Thea Luning (Senior, Mason City) was a distant second at 80.
Central shot 326 for an 11-shot win in the eight-team tournament. The University of Dubuque followed with 337 and Central’s second unit, the White Squad, was another setback with 338, with Coe College fourth at 343.
The spring season opener was shortened to 18 holes due to poor weather conditions on Saturday. The wind would be over 40 km/h on Sunday and the players also had to endure cool temperatures at the beginning of the round.
“It was only 26 when we left for the driving range,” says Coach Tabitha Schumacher called. “Lots of shifts to start the day so a very cold front nine. Then the sun came out, which helped, but when the sun came out the wind picked up.”
But Biggs played golf consistently.
“She played stable the whole time,” said Schumacher. “She’s stayed away from big numbers, which helps a lot. If you limit golf to bogeys, pars and birdies, you’re doing pretty well.”
Delaney Underwood (Senior, Mitchellville, Colfax-Mingo HS) tied for 12th at 85 during Madison Clark (Senior, Bloomington, Illinois, Central Catholic HS) And Lydia Grond (sophomore, Hull, Boyden-Hull HS) each shot 86.
“It’s early in the season and there will be some rust,” said Schumacher. “We’ve been out a few times, but not much. So it is to be expected at this point. It will definitely help us show what we need to keep working on.”
Peyton Bytnar (Junior, Bettendorf) And Parker Stark (sophomore, Lowden, North Cedar HS) tied sixth place for the white team with 83. Rachel son (Junior, Sutherland, South O’Brien HS) shot 84, Avery Woods (Junior, Long Grove, North Scott HS) had 88 & Jaden Smith (freshman, Marengo, Iowa Valley HS) had 90.
Central returns April 15-16 at the Kathy Niepagen Invitational hosted by Illinois Wesleyan University at the Ironwood Golf Course in Normal, Illinois. The Dutch finished third in a 15-team field on the same course at the Illinois Wesleyan Invitational on September 17-18.
“You definitely can’t complain when you win,” said Schumacher. “We have some things to do to prepare for the Illinois Wesleyan tournament, which will be our toughest competition this spring before we go to Nationals.”
Central, who won the American Rivers championship last fall, secured a spot at the NCAA Division III championships May 9-12 in Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla.