Women’s Golf: Cats compete with Big Ten’s best at Lady Buckeye

Minjae Park

Two weeks ago at the Bryan National Collegiate, Northwestern proved it can compete with the top teams in the country. With their third place finish this week at the Lady Buckeye Invitational, the Wildcats affirmed their place among the nation’s elite.

“We proved to ourselves that Michigan State is definitely beatable next week and Ohio State is not too far away either,” junior Rebecca Lederhausen said.

Heading into the third round of the Lady Buckeye Invitational, No. 38 Northwestern sat in second place, leading No. 10 Michigan State by seven strokes. The Cats couldn’t hold onto their lead, and the Spartans leapfrogged them with a tournament-low round of 302. The Cats-who hit a 313-settled for third.

A timely rehearsal for next week’s Big Ten Championships, the Lady Buckeye featured nine Big Ten squads in the 12-team field. Entering the tournament, NU was fourth in the rankings behind Ohio State, Michigan State and No. 30 Kent State, but the first two rounds indicated otherwise.

“We felt we should’ve beat Michigan State,” coach Emily Fletcher said. “We’re disappointed we didn’t finish it off today but going into Big Tens we’re definitely playing better.”

Junior Kelsey Lindenschmidt finished third overall, achieving a career-best finish and a season-best for the team. Lindenschmidt led the tournament heading into the last round, but an 8-over 80 score on the final day was four strokes too many.

“Overall she played really well,” Fletcher said. “She did putt well and overall she had a much-improved putting tournament and that’s one thing we’ll take away from this week-how much confidence she has in her putting going into Big Tens.”

The tournament was marked by poor weather.

“(Saturday), it was very windy,” sophomore Alex Lederhausen said. “Both days it was kind of sunny and cold, but (Saturday) was very challenging. (Sunday) wasn’t as windy, which was nice.”

Alex Lederhausen finished second for NU behind Lindenschmidt and tied for 17th overall. But unlike her teammate, Lederhausen took a while to get going and finished the final day with a strong 3-over 75 score.

“It started off really rocky and then coming in today I just wanted to play a lot better and get my act cleaned up,” Lederhausen said.

Her sister Rebecca finished third for the Cats and tied for 21st overall, her best finish of the season. Rebecca was tied for eighth overall until the third round, when she hit her tournament-low 10-over 82 score and finished with a 23-over 216.

“(Sunday) I didn’t finish as I would’ve liked,” she said. “(Sunday) was decent (for the team) but we would have liked to finish a little stronger.”

Sophomore Kylie Fuller finished a stroke behind Rebecca in fourth, placing her 24th overall. Freshmen Lauren Weaver and Mei Liu came in a stroke behind Fuller and finished tied for 26th in the tournament.

The field wasn’t as high-ranked as in previous tournaments, but the Cats competed with two of the conference’s best in Ohio State and Michigan State. Paired with these two in the final round, the Cats didn’t manage to usurp either, but Alex Lederhausen is looking forward to challenging them again next weekend.

“Michigan State finished really strong, but next week we’re hoping to finish strong and beat some more teams,” Lederhausen said. “This is a good warm up for Big Tens. It showed us where we stand and how much we can improve.”[email protected]