HOUSTON — Golf can be a funny game that does funny things, but UW-Whitewater found nothing amusing with the way it turned Tuesday.
The Warhawks played the first five holes of the NCAA Division III women's golf championship in 4-over-par and the first seven holes in 9-over. But the rest of the day didn't go as swimmingly for them at Bay Oaks Country Club.
"We just had a few shots that killed us coming in the last few holes on our (first) nine," Whitewater coach Andrea Wieland wrote in a text message to Wisconsin.golf, referring to Nos. 17 and 18, which her four scoring golfers played in 7-over. "Then we just couldn’t get anything going on the front nine. The wind was swirling and it felt like every hole was into the wind."
Whitewater lost another 13 shots to par on Nos. 5 through 8 and wound up shooting a 328 that left the Warhawks in 13th place in the 25-team field. They are 22 shots behind The Redlands (Calif.), which shot a 306 and led fellow at-large qualifier Methodist (N.C.) by one shot with 54 holes left.
Junior Ashley Hofmeister shot 79 and was tied for 39th after the first round to lead Whitewater. The Warhawks also counted a pair of 81s from No. 1 golfer CheyAnn Knudsen and No. 4 golfer Kelly Storti and an 87 from senior Maddie McCue. They threw out an 89 from senior Kaitlin Bowe.
"We need to putt better," Wieland wrote. "(We) lost a lot of shots putting. Even stupid things like missing 2-3-footers. But (we're) thankful that we still hung in to finish 13th. It seemed like it should’ve been a worse finish in this field."
Verona's Emily Opsal, a junior at Central (Iowa), shot 77 and was the top Wisconsin golfer in the field in a tie for 22nd place. The Dutch were in 17th place.
Lakewood's Maggie Warrner, a sophomore at Illinois Wesleyan, shot 84 and was tied for 73rd. IWU, ranked 19th by GolfStat.com, was in 18th place.
Muwonago's Hannah Schulz, a freshman at Aurora (Ill.), shot 88 and was tied for 93rd. Aurora was alone in 23rd place.