Women’s golf places third at Redbird Invitational to end regular season

Women’s golf MAC Championships begin April 22 in Toledo, Ohio


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 Editor

DeKALB — Women’s golf ended regular season play with a third place finish at 22-over-par in the Redbird Spring Invitational Saturday at Weibring Country Club in Normal, Illinois.

The event was shortened to two rounds after Friday’s opening round was canceled due to weather conditions.

Senior Sofia Gomez Enriquez headed up NIU’s efforts with a tied-fourth finish on the individual leaderboard at four-over par. Four of Gomez Enriquez’s teammates, one competing as an individual, were involved in an eight-way tie for eighth place.

“Sofia has been playing well,” head coach Kim Kester said in an NIU Athletics news release. “Good to see her have another good tournament after last week. She’s played this course quite a few times during her career so it’s certainly familiar for her and that showed today.”

The Huskies finished three strokes behind the tournament host Illinois State University and Drake University, who tied for first place at 19-over-par. The event marks NIU’s second-straight third-place finish after doing so at the Colonel Classic on April 4 to 5.

Round 2

The first nine holes of Saturday’s second round saw senior Caroline Klemp lead in team scoring with one-under-par. Sophomore Emily Romancew, one of three Huskies competing individually, found herself at even-par midway through the second round.

NIU finished the round with Gomez Enriquez as its best scorer at one-over par. Klemp’s stroke count rose to three-over par to close round one as the Huskies’ next best performer. Junior Ahra Ko and sophomore Jasmine Ly each finished at four-over par.

Gomez Enriquez, a native of Paraguay, closed tournament action Friday in a three-way tie for second place with two golfers from Illinois State. The Huskies’ top scores from team competitors earned them an initial team ranking of third out of nine teams in the pool.

Round 3

The third round featured score improvements for four of NIU’s competitors. Ko and Ly each shaved two strokes from their first round performances to finish two-over par on the round. Romancew and Jockisch reduced their scores by at least four strokes with Jockisch having the largest improvement from 15-over par in the first round and eight-over in the final.

“We had a pretty good day, but we’re still putting up too many big numbers on holes,” Kester said. “We want to reduce the big numbers and clean those up going into the MAC Championships. It was great to be able to have eight people play at this event so we can get a gauge of how everyone is playing going into MACs.”

NIU’s team performance enabled them to finish in third place on the team leaderboard. Illinois State won the tiebreaker with Drake to become tournament champions. ISU junior Ali Shrock earned individual medalist honors at one-under par, three strokes ahead of the runner-up, Drake senior Sam Paulak.

The Huskies will now have just under two weeks to prepare for the MAC Championships set to begin April 22. The event will be held at Stone Oak Country Club in Toledo, Ohio.