Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern


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Women’s Golf: Northwestern drives for Tourney bid

When Lauren Weaver broke Northwestern’s single round and 54-hole tournament records at the Lady Northern Invitational in early October, it came as something of a surprise. Not because Weaver has flown under the radar – the sophomore led the Wildcats with a 75.73 scoring average and was named to the second team All-Big Ten just last season – but because, well, she wasn’t exactly keeping count.

“I had no idea I was even close to breaking the record,” Weaver said. “I just felt like I could do no wrong, making cut after cut. It was really exciting. I worked really hard in the fall so I felt like it just really paid off. Still, I had no clue it was happening.”

It’s the sort of mentality, focused but not fixated, that coach Emily Fletcher is hoping NU will adopt this season as the Cats look to qualify for their first national NCAA Tournament appearance in 10 years. Last year’s squad, which all returned this season, made some headway on that goal when it advanced to the central regional round of the Tourney in Columbus, Ind. in 2010. The Cats failed to qualify for nationals when they finished 15th in the field of 24, out of which only the top eight advance.

Fletcher said this year’s more seasoned team represents the program’s best shot at notching a Tourney appearance during her three years with NU.

“That’s always our goal when we head into a season,” Fletcher said. “Last year we peaked a little bit early and ran out down the line. So this year we are really looking to change that and build momentum. Certainly this is the best team I’ve worked with.”

The highlight of the Cats’ fall campaign came at NU’s Lady Northern Invitational in early October. As Weaver drove her way to a record-breaking performance, NU collectively stepped up to finish second overall with an 11-over-875 final score. It marked the program’s second-lowest 54-hole team performance and slotted NU behind then-No. 1 Purdue in the final standings. Freshman Devon Brown and junior Alex Lederhausen finished strong as well with Brown tying for 11th and Lederhausen placing 22nd.

The Lady Northern Invitational is an important test for NU because it essentially previews the Big Ten Tournament. The conference championships will take place at the same site, the Lake Shore Club in Glencoe, Ill., and featured roughly the same roster of teams that will compete for the Big Ten trophy in April.

“We were all really excited after the Lady Northern,” Lederhausen said. “Lauren Weaver’s finish was really incredible, and it’s absolutely a good example for Big Tens. Golf is such an individual sport sometimes, but it’s always good when one of us does well.”

Unfortunately for NU its success at the Lady Northern marked its best finish so far this season. The Cats placed sixth out of 15 teams with a 29-over 893 performance at the Central District Invitational in Parrish, Fla. Weaver finished the tournament 17th, NU’s best individual showing.

“I guess I see myself as a leader on the team,” Weaver said. “But really just in terms of getting low scores, trying to lead by example. We have a really great team chemistry, though, so I think we all look to one another for that sort of support.”

The Cats will continue look to seniors Rebecca Lederhausen, Innapha Tantanavivat and Kelsey Lindenschmidt for senior experience. The team’s only newcomer is Brown, who tied for third at the Wolverine Invitational in September.

NU has almost a month-long break from competition before it travels to North Carolina for the Bryan National Collegiate on March 25.

“We can use this time to really focus on what we need to do individually,” Alex Lederhausen said. “Then we come back and see if we can achieve some of our goals. I’m pretty sure we can reach a lot of them.”

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Women’s Golf: Northwestern drives for Tourney bid