Iowa women’s golf posts losing record at Big Ten Match Play Championship

The Hawkeyes dropped matches to Rutgers and Nebraska before defeating Indiana to close out the event.


Gabby Drees

Klara Wildhaber swings a golf club at practice at Finkbine Golf Course on Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021. Wildhaber has played with the University of Iowa since 2020.

Chris Werner, Sports Reporter

Iowa women’s golf posted a 1-2 record at the Big Ten Match Play Championship earlier this week at the Innisbrook Golf Resort in Palm Harbor, Florida.

The Hawkeyes — seeded 9th in a 10-team field — dropped matches to Rutgers and Nebraska on Monday. Iowa took the victory in just one of the 12 combined matches.

But Iowa rebounded on Tuesday to snatch an upset victory over No. 2-seeded Indiana.

The Hoosiers and Huskers both won three individual matches in the match-play format. Iowa secured the win because of a larger combined margin of victory in its three matches.

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The Hawkeyes did not lead any match against the Hoosiers in the front nine. But juniors Morgan Goldstein and Lea Zeitler and sophomore Klara Wildhaber all won the back nine to earn victories for Iowa.

Goldstein and Wildhaber each had control of their matches for much of the back nine, closing out their opponents, 3&2 and 3&1, respectively.

Conversely, Zeitler never led in her match until it was over. She won the final four holes to erase a 3-down deficit — including back-to-back birdies on the final two holes — to beat Indiana’s Maddie Dittoe, 1-up. Zeitler had only made one birdie before that streak.

“We definitely got some great matches today,” head coach Megan Menzel said in a release following the last day of play. “Indiana was tough and we had quite a few players down early and they fought back to make it an exciting finish. We saw a lot of good golf shots today and as a team we feel like we made some great progress over the last few days. It feels good to get a win and we are looking forward to New Orleans coming up.”

The Hawkeyes will tee it up next on Feb. 13 in New Orleans for the Tulane Classic.