Women’s golf takes home first win of season in Florida

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Northern Star file photo

Rich Harvest Farms, 2330 Granart Road in Sugar Grove is home to NIU golf.

Wes Sanderson, Editor-in-Chief

DeKALB — The women’s golf team secured its first team victory of the season with a 54-hole team score of four-under par, 860, to claim the Mid-American Challenge by three strokes over Florida Gulf Coast University Tuesday in Lakewood Ranch, Florida.

The Huskies recorded a final round score of eight-under par as a team, defeating the previous single round team record of seven-under par by one stroke. 

“Obviously it was a great tournament for us,” Head Coach Kim Kester said in a news conference. “Everyone played great from start to finish over both days.”

The team came into the final round Tuesday trailing Florida Gulf Coast by six shots in the team campaign, but after senior Lauren Ingle carded a final round 69 followed by sophomore Jasmine Ly who fired a career low 68 in the team’s final round push.

Three competitors placed inside the top-five for individuals and a fourth recorded a top-ten finish.

Ingle finished the 54-hole tournament with a score of eight-under, four back of the individual leader Sarah Edwards of Florida Gulf Coast.

Sophomore Ahra Ko finished in fourth place with a three-round score of four-under par. Ly finished the tournament off with her final round 68, taking her overall score to two-under par for the tournament.

“So impressed with [Ingle],” Kester said. “It’s remarkable to see her come out and throw those scores on the board.”

With Tuesday’s victory, Kester and the Huskies are back in the winners’ circle for the first time since 2018, when the Huskies took home the Redbird Invitational hosted by Illinois State University. 

Kester’s squad opened up the 2021 campaign strong, recording three consecutive rounds of team golf with a combined score of 299 or less for each round.

“We had a team goal to average 299 or below for the year,” Kester said. “This gives us great momentum and a confidence boost going into the rest of the spring.” 

Kester and the Huskies will now have a bit of time to celebrate its victory, but also prepare for the remainder of the spring season.

The Huskies return to action on Feb. 28, when the team travels to Kiawah Island, South Carolina to compete in the three day long Kiawah Island Classic.