Andy Sneddon, CMUChippewas.com
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Natalie Johnson shot 79 on Sunday to lead the Central Michigan golf team at the Michigan State Mary Fossum Invitational at Forest Akers East Golf Course.
It was Johnson's third sub-80 round in the 54-hole tournament. She shot 78-79 in the first two rounds on Saturday, and finished at 236, tied for 42nd in the 70-player field.
It was Johnson's fifth consecutive sub-80 round after she closed with back-to-back 75s at the Ball State Cardinal Classic last weekend in CMU's fall opener.
"She's worked hard throughout the summer," CMU coach Cheryl Stacy said of Johnson, a junior and the Chippewas' No. 1 player. "She's got pretty clear goals with what she wants to accomplish scoring wise. She's been working a lot on her swing, her tempo.
"Once it all clicks she's going to see some even lower scores. She's pretty consistent overall in all that she does."
The Chippewas shot a 322 team score on Sunday and finished 12th in the 12-team event with a 963 total. It was a 47-shot improvement over their score in the 2015 Fossum, when they posted a 1,010 team total and finished 25 shots behind the 11th-place team.
CMU finished 18 shots behind 11th-place Northern Illinois in this year's tournament.
"When you compare yourself to some of the other teams you feel like it's really daunting, but when you look at where they started and how far they've come you've got to be encouraged," CMU coach Cheryl Stacy said. "It is a lot better, but we still we know where we need to be and the girls know that to. We're competing against ourselves individually and trying to continue to get better.
"We're keeping positive. We need to keep working really hard and keep working on those fine details."
Also for the Chippewas on Sunday, Holly Hines, Danielle Sawyer and Kristen Wolfe each shot 81, while Bria Colosky posted an 86. CMU's Katie Logan, playing as an individual, shot 81.
Wolfe finished at 240 and in a tie for 51st, while Logan finished at 245, Sawyer and Hines both at 247, and Colosky at 250.
Sunday's 322 score was a bit of a disappointment, Stacy said, in light of the fact that the Chippewas posted a 315 in Saturday's second round.
"I was pretty pleased with (Saturday's) second round, the 315," she said. "Pretty solid for us at this point. Michigan State's course is pretty tough. We had some bigger numbers (Sunday) and that really affected our score.
"Our goal was to be 315 or better so we kind of fell short, but we battled."
Dewi Weber of Miami (Fla.) closed with a 2-under 70 on Sunday to finish at 4-under and capture medalist honors. Sarah Burnham of Michigan State finished one shot back at 3-under.
Miami, with four golfers in the top six, won the team title with an 860 total. Princeton was second with 900, and Indiana (902) finished third.
The Chippewas return to action next week at the Oct. 3-4 Kzoo Classic, hosted by Western Michigan, at The Moors in Portage.