NU women looking for slice of heaven in Iowa golf tourney

Bernard Schwartz

The Northwestern women’s golf team is hoping for a heavenly weekend as it heads west to compete in Iowa’s Hawkeye Invitational in Iowa City, Iowa.

The No. 29 Wildcats finished third at last year’s Hawkeye, which was won by Indiana. Minnesota finished second.

Led by senior Karen England’s fifth-place finish, the Cats placed four of five golfers in the top 20 last year.

Including NU, four of the eight teams competing at this year’s Hawkeye are from the Big Ten.

NU will do battle with Iowa, Michigan,Wisconsin, Iowa State, Northern Iowa, Kent and Notre Dame on the Finkbine Golf Course.

Defending champion Indiana, which won its own Indiana Invitational last weekend, is not playing in this year’s Hawkeye.

NU took fourth at last weekend’s Invitational, behind England and freshman Elizabeth Burden, who tied for 11th at 161. Sophomore Emily Gilley finished at 163, followed by junior Christie Hermes at 164.

The Cats shot a weather-shortened, two-round total of 647, losing to second-place Wisconsin by just two strokes.

The Indiana Invitational had a stronger and bigger field than the Hawkeye, but this weekend’s tournament is still critical for NU, which is looking for its first-ever bid into the NCAA East Regionals.

The Hawkeye is a 54-hole event, in which teams play 36 holes on Saturday and a final 18 on Sunday.