Women’s golf team finishes in bottom half of competition in Dallas

Junior+Ahra+Ko+launches+a+ball+during+practice+on+Aug.+28.+Ko+finished+tied+for+16th+at+the+Johnie+Imes+Invitational.

Zulfiqar Ahmed | Northern Star

Junior Ahra Ko launches a ball during practice on Aug. 28. Ko finished tied for 16th at the Johnie Imes Invitational.

By Skyler Kisellus, Sports Reporter

DeKalb Women’s golf secured an 11th place finish after two days of competition at the Trinity Forest Invitational in Dallas, Texas.

How it happened

The Huskies’ efforts took to a sluggish start in Monday’s first round, where five members of NIU’s starting lineup hit double digit stroke counts. Junior Ahra Ko proved to be a major asset from the start, hitting one-over-par in the top nine of the first round and six-over by its conclusion.

Matters improved by Monday’s second round as NIU was able to clean up its par score, with the highest for the round being eight-over-par. Ko continued to impress with a stroke count of two-over in the round, a score that was matched by freshman Jóhanna Lea Lúðvíksdóttir.

By Monday’s end, the Huskies sat in a tie for 11th place with New Mexico State University at 52-over-par. NIU had been successful in climbing up the leaderboard after ending the first round squarely in 13th place.

NIU ended the tournament with a third round performance that featured three Huskie golfers with par-scores of two-over or lower. Ko posted NIU’s lowest score of the tournament in the third round with one-over-par while Lúðvíksdóttir and sophomore Jasmine Ly posted two-over par.

Ko finished her outing in Texas as NIU’s highest placing golfer on the individual leaderboard, tying for 13th place with three other golfers. Ko’s ten birdies guided her to a nine-over-par outing at the 54-hole event.

Thoughts from coach Kester

On team’s progress after the tournament:

“Yesterday was super tough,” head coach Kim Kester said. “It was 29 degrees with 20-plus miles per hour winds and we just had too many big numbers. It was good to see us bounce back today. We’re going to see these types of conditions when we get to the MAC (Championship) so it’s good to get experience, especially with a young line-up like we had for this tournament.”  

On Ko’s team-leading performance:

“Ahra (Ko) is capable of shooting low numbers and we saw a lot of good things from her this week,” Kester said. “She tied for most birdies in the tournament, and it was great to see her play better going into the next tournament in Georgia.”

The end result

NIU has now achieved back-to-back finishes in the bottom half of tournament play after taking 10th place against a 12-team pool at The Gold Rush, which wrapped up on March 1. 

The Huskies will have their final three tournaments of spring competition to improve before the MAC Championships begin on April 22 near the University of Toledo, Kester’s alma mater.

Looking ahead

The women’s team will now turn their focus to the Peach State as they prepare for the two-day long Pinetree Collegiate set to begin on March 21. The event will be held at Pinetree Country Club in Kennesaw, Georgia.