Andy Sneddon, CMUChippewas.com
RIO VERDE, Ariz. - Natalie Johnson shot a 2-over-par 74 on Sunday to lead the Central Michigan golf team in the third and final round of the Rio Verde Invitational on the Quail Run course at Rio Verde Country Club.
Johnson's 74, which was one shot off her career best, gave her a 54-hole 239 total. She finished among a group tied for 56th in the 93-player field. Johnson opened the tournament on Friday with an 80 and shot 85 in Saturday's second round.
"She was just very steady and back to her normal self," CMU coach Cheryl Stacy said of Johnson, a senior who recorded two birdies and four bogeys on her Sunday round. "The first two days I think she was just not feeling comfortable out there and maybe pushing herself a little too much and her tempo got off."
Freshman Jami Laude closed with an 83 on Sunday to finish the tournament with a CMU-best 238. Laude, who tied for 53rd, opened with a 76 and posted a 79 on Saturday.
Also for CMU on Sunday, steady junior Bria Colosky shot 79 to finish at 240. She opened with an 81 and posted an 80 on Saturday. Sophomore Danielle Sawyer shot 86 on Sunday to finish at 255, and senior Kristen Wolfe shot 90 and finished at 268.
CMU senior Holly Hines, playing as an individual, shot 82 on Sunday to finish at 258.
CMU posted a 322 team score on Sunday and finished with 972. The Chippewas placed 17th in the 17-team field.
"We had a lot of big numbers, a lot of penalty strokes, and it wasn't one specific thing," Stacy said. "I think some of the holes, you have to hit it really straight off the tee and they found a lot of trouble. We're disappointed in our scoring and disappointed because we weren't very confident.
"You've just got to move on to the next tournament, whether you played well or played badly. Each of them know what they need to work on."
Seton Hall shot 299 on Sunday and finished with a 902 team total to win the event by one shot over Akron.
Danielle Nicholson of Akron, who fired a tournament-low 68 on Saturday, closed with a 2-under-par 70 on Sunday to win with a 2-under 214. She won by six shots over teammate Jacinta Pikunas.
The Chippewas are scheduled to go to the North Florida Collegiate at Jacksonville Golf and Country Club on March 5-6.