Andy Sneddon, CMUChippewas.com
YORKTOWN, Ind. - Jami Laude and Danielle Sawyer both shot 2-over-par 74 on Tuesday to lead the Central Michigan golf team in the third and final round of the season-opening Ball State Cardinal Classic at The Players Club.
The Chippewas posted a 306 team score, matching the 18-hole program record they set in Monday's opening round of the 54-hole event.
CMU, which shot 307 in Monday's second round, finished with a 919 total, the best 54-hole score in program history. The Chippewas finished 13th in the 19-team field, and their 919 eclipsed the previous best 54-hole total by 21 shots. They set that mark, 940, last year at the same tournament.
The Chippewas played a combined 15 rounds in the tournament and posted 13 scores in the 70s.
"The whole team's excited," coach Cheryl Stacy said. "The fact that we only had two rounds in the 80s -- just very consistent. And another thing that was really good was that in the third round we held our ground and didn't lose any spots. We hung tough. A couple of our players struggled a little bit midway through the round and then brought it back. The two 74s were key too. Those were huge."
The Chippewas started Tuesday's round in 13th place, four shots ahead of Bowling Green, and were able to hold off the Falcons to maintain their team position. Bowling Green also shot 306 on Tuesday.
That CMU was able to finish ahead of the Falcons was a victory for the program, Stacy said, and it is indicative of the strides the Chippewas are making. Last spring at the Mid-American Conference Championships, the Chippewas led the Falcons by 12 shots heading into the final round, only to see Bowling Green pass them and finish ahead of CMU in the final standings.
"We talked a little bit about that (Monday) night, last year's MAC Championships," Stacy said. "You've got to play all three rounds. We really wanted to beat a MAC school, so that was exciting.
"This is a good course to start on. It's not quite as challenging as some we'll play later in the season, but still it's a good confidence booster for us."
Laude, a freshman, made her first collegiate event a memorable one as she posted a 227 total, a 54-hole Chippewa record. She finished at 11-over, tied for 39th in the 98-player event.
CMU senior Natalie Johnson closed the tournament with a 79 to finish at 229, the second-best 54-hole total in the CMU record book. She finished at 13-over and tied for 45th. Her 150 total after Monday's first two rounds tied Sawyer's 36-hole program mark.
Sawyer recovered from an opening-round 80 to post a second-round 78 and then closed with her 74 for 232, which stands as the fifth-best 54-hole total by a Chippewa golfer. Sawyer tied for 53rd
Also for the Chippewas on Tuesday, Kristen Wolfe posted a 79 to finish at 234, while Holly Hines carded an 80, finishing at 236.
Indianapolis closed with a 294 to finish with an 863 team score and win the tournament by 13 shots over runner-up Bradley.
Jacinta Pikunas of Akron closed with an even-par 72 to finish at 6-under for a six-shot victory over Pimchanok Kawil of Toledo and Indianapolis teammates Kennedy Holtsclaw and Pilar Echeverria.