Iowa women’s golf wins UNI Spring Invitational

A pair of runner-up individual finishes propelled the Hawkeyes to the top of the five-team field.


Joseph Cress

A member of the University of Iowa women’s golf team practices her putting on Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017.

Chris Werner, Sports Reporter

The Iowa women’s golf team battled through wet and windy conditions to win the UNI Spring Invitational at Pheasant Ridge Golf Course in Cedar Falls, Iowa, over the weekend.

With temperatures in the 40s on both Saturday and Sunday, and wind and rain wreaking havoc throughout the three rounds of competition, the Hawkeyes produced an 11-shot team win in their first and only in-state tournament of the year. The victory marks the Hawkeyes’ first since 2018.

“Quite honestly, we probably knew we were the strongest team going in,” Hawkeye head coach Megan Menzel said. “It’s good to execute and give them some confidence to play in some tough conditions. It wasn’t great golf weather, and I think they really kept it together. They were pretty hungry just to get the victory. They had to keep their heads down and go out and play hard.”

Iowa bested the likes of U-W Green Bay, host Northern Iowa, Drake, and Western Illinois with a 33-over-par total team score on the tournament.

Individually, Hawkeyes Klara Wildhaber and Morgan Goldstein both finished the event in a tie for second place at seven-over-par. The Panthers’ Sydney Easton claimed the tournament’s individual crown with a six-over-par three-round score.

RELATED: Strong second round propels Iowa women’s golf to second-place finish

Goldstein — who finished third at the Chattanooga Classic March 30 — nearly forced a playoff with Easton Sunday. On her last hole of the third round and the tournament, Goldstein left a 7-foot birdie putt that would’ve vaulted her into a tie for the lead just an inch short of the hole.

Post-tournament, Goldstein told The Daily Iowan she will continue to work on her short game and that there’s always room for improvement. Though, she does believe her game is good enough to help her win the Indiana Spring Invitational next week.

Wildhaber also had an eventful round three that included a stretch of four-straight bogeys and a run of two consecutive birdies on holes 17 and 18.

Sophomore Lea Zeitler joined Goldstein and Wildhaber in the top five, and nine of the ten competing Hawkeyes — four of which were participating as individuals — placed in the top 15.

“The thing I was most proud about was their attitudes,” Menzel said. “I don’t think I heard one complaint about the weather, and we’ve been talking about that a lot. [Our attitude] is something that we can control, and we’re going to be the tougher teams when we have some adversity. They kind of went in with the mission and it didn’t matter what the conditions were going to be or, you know, who we’re playing with, or what course we were playing, they were just going to find a way to keep their heads on and get it done.”

Iowa will tee it up at the Indiana Spring Invitational next Saturday and Sunday in Bloomington at the Pfau Course at Indiana University.

The event will serve as the Hawkeyes’ last before the 2021 Big Ten Championships begin April 23 in Cincinnati, Ohio, at Tournament Players Club (TPC) River’s Bend.

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