Junior Morgan Kier (Brownsburg, Ind. / Brownsburg) led the Valparaiso University women’s golf team on Friday during the first two rounds of the Redbird Invitational, hosted by Illinois State at the par-72, 6010-yard Weibring Golf Club in Normal, Ill. Kier went sub-80 in both rounds, helping Valpo finish Round 2 with its best 18-hole team score this season.
How It Happened
- Kier set a season low in the opening round with a 79 (+7) before matching that with the same score in Round 2. Her 158 through 36 holes has her on the fringe of the tournament’s top 10, checking in at t-11 entering Saturday’s final round. Kier’s 79 was one stroke off a career low.
- Kier wasn’t the only Valpo golfer to finish Day 1 in the top 15, as she joined fellow junior Payton Hodson (Middleton, Wis. / Middleton), who carded an 81 in the opening round before tying Kier for the team’s best Round-2 score at 79. Hodson’s 160 through 36 holes places her in a tie for 15th in the four-team, 33-player field.
- Valpo carded a 329 (+41) in the opening round before improving to 325 (+37) in Round 2 for a 36-hole score of 654 (+78). The second-round score marked Valpo’s season low both overall and in relation to par.
- Hodson and Cailey Rooker (St. Joseph, Mich. / St. Joseph) had one birdie apiece for the Brown & Gold.
- The tournament features Valpo and a trio of Illinois-based schools including two Missouri Valley Conference members – Illinois State, Loyola and Northern Illinois. The host Redbirds lead the field at 599 while Ali Schrock of Illinois State holds the top individual spot at 147 (+2) with 18 holes to play.
Thoughts from Head Coach Jill McCoy
"Morgan Kier has come a long way since her freshman year. Her back-to-back 79s today prove she is a steady and reliable player leading us into the conference tournament. She is striking the ball really well and her confidence with her putter is fantastic. Payton Hodson also posted two solid rounds today. These are the solid scores we are going to need for conference next week. Coming into the end of her season on a high note, Shelby Schier’s 79 was a lot of fun to watch today. Seeing Shelby smiling with her head held high is a great way to see her finishing her time at Valpo."
The final round of the event will take place on Saturday, April 10. A link to live scoring via BirdieFire is available on ValpoAthletics.com.