Central takes third in Illinois women’s golf tourney

NORMAL, ILLINOIS— Steady play by Thea Lunning (senior, Mason City) produced a seventh-place individual finish as the Central College women’s golf team took third at the at the 15-team Illinois Wesleyan Fall Classic Sunday.

Lunning shot 77-75—152 for the Dutch, who finished with 308-311—619 on the par-72 Ironwood Golf Course. The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater won the 15-team tourney at 305-296—601 while host Illinois Wesleyan University snuck past Central for second at 309-299—608. Denison University (Ohio) was fourth at 320-301—621. Central was the only Iowa school in the field.

Central again had the most pars of any team in the field and Lunning epitomized that consistency.

“Thea’s been really steady,” coach Tabitha Schumacher said. “I don’t think she had anything other than birdies, pars or bogeys, which is nice.”

Central’s first-round leader, Delaney Underwood (senior, Mitchellville, Colfax-Mingo HS) slipped from a tie for second place to a share of 14th among 98 players at 75-82—157. She was tied with Lydia Grond (sophomore, Hull, Boyden-Hull HS)who shot 79-78—157 in her first varsity appearance, and Mackenzie Biggs (junior, Bloomington, Ill., Normal HS)who shot 81-76—157. Madison Clark (senior, Bloomington, Ill., Central Catholic HS) tied for 34th at 77-84—161.

It’s a 35-shot improvement from last year’s effort on the same course when Central finished 12th of 20 teams with 325-329—654.

“Delaney (Underwood) struck the ball well,” Schumacher said. “She just wasn’t scoring. But Mackenzie (Biggs) playing well helped a lot. We just need to bring it all together and have everyone play well on the same day. We still haven’t done that but it’s exciting that we’ re getting closer.”

Playing as at-large entries, Peyton Bytnar (junior, Bettendorf) shot 83-86—169 and Rachel Sohn (junior, Sutherland, South O’Brien HS) hate 90-86—176.

Central’s last fall season outing before the Oct. 8-10 American Rivers Championships is the Nebraska Wesleyan Fall Invitational at the par-72 Mahoney Golf Course in Lincoln, Nebraska next Saturday and Sunday. The Dutch won the five-team tournament last year with 322-324—646.

“I think we’re heading in the right direction,” Schumacher said. “We got past last weekend (at the Wartburg Fall Invitational) when we didn’t have our best games. We’ll definitely come into conference with a lot of confidence, which is what we want.”

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