The Valparaiso University women’s golf team competed in its final round prior to the Missouri Valley Conference Championship on Saturday as the team closed out the Redbird Invitational, hosted by Illinois State at the par-72, 6010-yard Weibring Golf Club in Normal, Ill. Valpo shaved 10 strokes off its second-round score in Round 3, posting its best 18-hole score of the season on Saturday. In the process, the Brown & Gold overtook MVC foe Loyola for third on the team leaderboard.
How It Happened
- A season-low team score of 315 (+27) helped Valpo make up six strokes on Loyola, which posted a 321 over the final 18 holes. That allowed the Brown & Gold to jump to third in the four-team tournament with a 54-hole score of 969 (+105), one stroke ahead of the Ramblers.
- Valpo was just one stroke behind Illinois State for the second-best score in Round 3, as Northern Illinois overtook the host Redbirds for the team title. Jasmine Ly of NIU carded a 224 over 54 holes to earn individual medalist honors.
- Junior Payton Hodson (Middleton, Wis. / Middleton) accounted for Valpo’s top score both in the final round and during the tournament. Her 77 (+5) on Saturday marked her third round of 77 or better this season. It was the best 18-hole score by any Valpo golfer in this weekend’s tournament, and helped Hodson earn a top-15 finish at t-14 (237, +21).
- Hodson was followed closely by junior teammate Morgan Kier (Brownsburg, Ind. / Brownsburg), who finished the event with a 241 (+25) to tie for 16th.
- Freshman Cailey Rooker (St. Joseph, Mich. / St. Joseph) shaved six strokes off her second-round score by carding a 78 (+6) on Sunday to finish at 247 (+31, t-22) for the tournament.
- Valpo had four scores of 80 or better on the event’s final day as Carly Schiene (Mokena, Ill. / Lincoln-Way Central) and Maddison Murphy (Bloomington, Ill. / University) also stroked 80s in Round 3. That marked the best round of the tournament for both as four of Valpo’s five countable golfers had their best round of the event on Saturday. Schiene finished at 247 to join her fellow freshman Rooker in the tie for 22nd.
- Valpo had the best Par-3 scoring in the third round of any team in the field at 3.00. The team had six birdies in the final round to finish with 14 for the tournament, led by Schiene’s six, tied for the second most among participating golfers. Schiene had three birdies on Saturday alone, tied for the most in Round 3 in the 33-player field.
Thoughts from Head Coach Jill McCoy
“Payton started at +4 over the first three holes and finished the day at +5. She stayed calm and played really well for the remainder of her round. Cailey had a good round also. Everyone did a great job of staying calm and focused in some tough conditions. We really kept the big numbers to a minimum and threw in a handful of birdies. I am very proud of my team today.”
Valpo will compete in the Missouri Valley Conference Championship at Bogey Hills GC in St. Charles, Mo. The two-day event will begin on Monday, April 19. A link to live scoring will be available on ValpoAthletics.com.