The UT women’s golf team set a school record for lowest 54-hole stroke total en route to defending its Redbird Invitational title Monday.The event took place at Illinois State’s par-72, 6,074-yard Weibring Golf Club in Normal.
The Rockets held a three-shot lead over Bowling Green entering the final round and responded with the best round of the day to post a 12-stroke victory over Ball State. UT finished at 26-over par 890 (297-295-298), which was two strokes better than numbers posted by the Rockets in 2005 and 2007.
“I’m extremely proud of our performance,” Toledo Head Coach Nicole Hollingsworth said. “It was a total team effort the entire weekend, and I was really happy of how we hung in there during a couple of stretches when we struggled. The course played tough with 20-mile-per-hour winds, and the greens were hard and firm. We played smart and were forced to hit shots that we aren’t used to.”
Senior Kate Hoops tied her individual best with a three-over par 219 (74-73-72) to tie for third place. Hoops was the only golfer in the field to shoot even par Monday thanks to a birdie on her final hole.
Sophomores Sathika Ruenreong (73-74-76) and Manisa Isavas (76-74-73) tied for ninth place at seven-over par 223, while junior Jennifer Elsholz tied for 13th place at nine-over par 225 (74-74-77). Junior Stephanie St-Jean rounded out the Rocket lineup with a 23-over par 239 (77-77-85) to finish tied for 52nd place.
Isavas’ performance in the tournament marked career bests for lowest 18-hole and 54-hole stroke totals, while Ruenreong tallied the eighth top 10 showing of her young collegiate career.
Sophomore Morgan Salm also produced her best collegiate outing for her career competing as an individual, tying for 30th place at 17-over par 233 (78-79-76).
Ball State’s Jenna Hague captured medalist honors at one-under par 215 (72-70-73).
Toledo will return to action this weekend when the team travels to East Lansing for Michigan State’s Mary Fossum Invitational. The Rockets will play 36 holes Saturday, Sept. 14, followed by 18 holes Sunday, Sept. 15.