Women’s golf takes ninth in Florida

The Huskies take ninth at Pat Bradley Invitational, look ahead to White Sands Invitational

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Courtesy of Scott Walstrom/NIU Athletics

Freshman Jóhanna Lúðvíksdóttir practices at Rich Harvest Farms. Lúðvíksdóttir took her talents from Reykjavik to DeKalb to be a part of the NIU women’s golf team.

Skyler Kisellus, Assistant Sports Editor

DeKALB — The NIU women’s golf team was guided by another top-10 performance from sophomore Jasmine Ly as they finished in ninth place with a score of 41-over par at the Pat Bradley Invitational in Lakewood Ranch, Florida.

For the third time this season, Ly led the way for the Huskies. Coming off a tied-fourth finish at the Johnie Imes Invitational on Sep. 29, Ly took home eighth place by hitting even-par.

“Overall, I didn’t play too bad,” Ly said. “I just, unfortunately, ended on a little bit of a bad note. My first two days were solid. I struggled a bit (Monday).”

To open the tournament on Saturday, the Huskies hit three-over par. NIU’s top four performers hit 10 birdies and 11 bogeys during the first 18 holes. They ended the first day of the event in seventh place, four strokes behind sixth-place James Madison University.

On Sunday, NIU faced issues with their stroke count. Throughout the second round, all five golfers totaled 26 bogeys, three double bogeys and a triple bogey. After discounting the par score of the lowest performer, the Huskies had brought their stroke count to 14-over par.

Despite increasing their stroke count by 11, NIU was able to jump up one spot on the leaderboard. Having previously been tied for third, Stetson University was plagued with similar issues that afflicted NIU. Stetson had brought their score from two-under to 15-over par to drop to seventh place, which allowed NIU to overtake them.

NIU entered the third and final round of the event in sixth place. In the final 18 holes, the Huskies saw more of the same problems from the previous round. Every golfer in the lineup hit at least five bogeys each in the final round and combined for a total of 30 bogeys compared to four birdies.

The Huskies ended Monday with a stroke count of 27-over, bringing their overall score to 41-over par. Their performance after all three rounds led to their ninth-place finish, having been passed by Stetson, Florida Atlantic University and Jacksonville University.

“It’s just poor play,” head coach Kim Kester said. “(We) just didn’t keep the ball in play, too many penalty shots, too many putts. It’s a mixture of a lot of things. Overall, it just wasn’t a good event for us.”

Boston College and Florida International University, the tournament host, battled for first place throughout the final day of the tournament. By the event’s conclusion, Boston College had emerged as the champion with a score of three-over par, two strokes ahead of Florida International. Redshirt junior Haley Yerxa of Florida Gulf Coast University was the victor amongst individuals with a score four-under par.

Sophomore Karen Liu was the next Huskie on the leaderboard after Ly, having finished in a five-way tie for 46th place. The sophomore from Taiwan posted a score of 14-over par.

Freshman Jóhanna Lúðvíksdóttir also made a return to the lineup after not qualifying for the Johnie Imes invitational. Lúðvíksdóttir tied for 58th place with fellow Huskies senior Caroline Klemp and junior Ahra Ko, all of them hitting 17-over par.

Following their lowest performance of the season, the team will focus on “getting (their) head back into it.”

“We’ll have a different lineup there,” Kester said. “You gotta forget what just happened, refocus, and go out and be better than we were these past couple days.”

Even though the team’s performance at the Pat Bradley did not meet their own expectations, Kester remains confident in her players and their abilities.

“I’m not too worried,” Kester said. “I know these girls have a lot of fight. They weren’t happy with their performance, so they’re gonna be eager to do better and be better the next time.”

The Huskies will have a short turnaround as they prepare to travel to Paradise Island in the Bahamas. There, they will compete in their final tournament of the calendar year at the White Sands Invitational. Round one is slated to begin at 7 a.m. CT Friday.