Women’s golf opens season with third-place finish

Freshman+J%C3%B3hanna+L%C3%BA%C3%B0v%C3%ADksd%C3%B3ttir+hits+a+tee+shot+during+a+qualifying+round+Aug.+28+at+Rich+Harvest+Farms

Zak Ahmed | Northern Star

Freshman Jóhanna Lúðvíksdóttir hits a tee shot during a qualifying round Aug. 28 at Rich Harvest Farms

Skyler Kisellus, Assistant Sports Editor

DeKALB — NIU women’s golf took third place at the Redbird Invitational with a 54-hole team score of 23-over par as they kicked off their 2021-2022 campaign in Normal.

NIU began the tournament on a strong note, hitting rounds of 296 and 294. The Huskies ended Sunday in third place on the leaderboard behind Eastern Kentucky University and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

Going into Monday’s final round, the team trailed IUPUI by 13 shots. After ending Labor Day with a round of 297, the Huskies held onto third place. EKU went home with the team victory at 3-under par, having three competitors place in the top five.

Sophomore Jasmine Ly led the way for Huskies, recording a 3-over, 219 at the invitational. The sophomore finished the event in seventh place. The rest of the team all finished within the top half of the leaderboard.

The opening tournament also saw the debut of freshman Jóhanna Lúðvíksdóttir as a Huskie. The Iceland native recorded a 10-over, 226 overall performance and tying for 25th on the individual level. 

“(Her performance) was good,” head coach Kim Kester said. “The first one is typically the toughest. It’s good for her to get her feet wet in college golf.”

As they competed for the first since being left out of the NCAA Regionals tournament last season, the Huskies played without regard to it. 

“People are making a bigger deal of us not getting in than we are,”  Kester said. “We go out to win.”

The level of competition for the Huskies looks to be much stronger as the season progresses. The Pat Bradley Invitational on Oct. 16 promises to be a new, yet welcome, challenge for NIU. “We take it one event at a time,” Kester said.

The Huskies will return to the course on Monday, Sep. 27, at the three-day-long Johnie Imes Invitational in Columbia, Mo.