Andy Sneddon, CMUChippewas.com
YORKTOWN, Ind. - Natalie Johnson shot a 3-over 75 Tuesday to lead the Central Michigan golf team in the third and final round of the Ball State Cardinal Classic at The Players Club.
The Chippewas posted a 313 team score and finished with a three-round 940 total, a CMU record. CMU's previous low, 953, came at last year's Cardinal Classic.
"We always tell the players and at this point we're saying this a lot, just baby steps, start with that," CMU coach Cheryl Stacy said. "940 is definitely a steppingstone. We'll just keep trying to set our goals a little bit higher each time, trying to beat our personal best.
"They felt a lot better this year in this tournament than last year. The golf course played a lot longer this year than last year because it was wet and there were some rough spots. I was pleased with it."
The Chippewas finished 14th in the 16-team field. Eastern Kentucky won the tournament with an 874 team total. Toledo (882) was second, while Western Michigan (885) was third.
It was Johnson's second-consecutive 75 and she was one of three Chippewas to break 80 on the day. Johnson shot 87 in Monday's opening round.
"Natalie was excited with her two 75s," Stacy said. "To do that two days in a row was really good for her."
Freshman Danielle Sawyer posted her second-straight 78, while fellow freshman Katie Logan carded a 79, her best round of the tournament.
"Happy for our freshmen who had four rounds in the 70s," Stacy said. "I think that's going push the other girls as well."
Also for the Chippewas, Kristen Wolfe shot 81 and Holly Hines posted an 84.
Sawyer, who shot 76-78 on Monday in the first two rounds of the tournament, tied for 43rd at 232. Wolfe finished tied for 54th at 236, Johnson tied for 59th at 237, and Hines tied for 70th at 240. The field comprised 87 golfers.
All five of the Chippewas recorded at least one round in the 70s.
"Overall I'm pleased with the first tournament of the fall," Stacy said. "We showed a ton of improvement from last year and a lot of individual improvement. We have more depth, more players, and it's more competitive within the team."
CMU's Amanda Walsh, playing as an individual, was forced to withdraw before Tuesday's round because of injury.
Elsa Moberly of Eastern Kentucky closed with a 2-under 70 to finish at 5-under and capture medalist honors, three shots ahead of Western Michigan's Kaitlyn Watkins.